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Common Vaccine Myths and Facts

The first influenza vaccine was developed in 1942 by two researchers, Thomas Francis, Jr., MD and Jonas Salk, MD. It was approved for public use in 1945. During the span of 80+ years of research and innovation, influenza vaccines have become more targeted and a necessary part of wellness for the elderly, young, and immunocompromised. However, many myths still exist about the effectiveness, safety, and importance of an annual flu shot. Let’s take a look at the most common vaccine myths and facts below.

MYTH: Vaccines make you sick

FACT: For some individuals, mild side effects like soreness at the injection side and low-grade fever may occur, but quickly resolves. This is a sign that your immune system is doing its job. Serious side effects are extremely unlikely to occur according to WHO. You are much more likely to be involved in a car accident then to have a serious side effect from a vaccination.

MYTH: Vaccines contain toxic ingredients

FACT: There are concerns about ingredients in vaccines being toxic, like formaldehyde and aluminum. Some vaccines contain trace amounts of ingredients that may seem toxic or harmful, but these ingredients are present at such trace amounts that the vaccine is still completely safe. The amount of these ingredients in a vaccine is less than what you are exposed to in your daily life.

MYTH: If everyone around me is vaccinated, then I do not need to be vaccinated

FACT: Staying up-to-date on your immunizations and boosters keeps you, your household, and your community safe. Viruses are easily spread throughout the community through person-to-person contact. When more individuals in your community have received a flu vaccine, the virus is less likely to spread. Infants, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people rely on other individuals in their community to protect them.

MYTH: Vaccines cause autism

FACT: Vaccines do not cause autism. In 1998, a critically flawed study was published stating that vaccines cause autism. Since then, the study has been heavily discredited and found to be incredibly biased and not scientifically accurate. To date, hundreds of studies have been completed worldwide and have concluded that vaccines do not cause autism.

MYTH: Children’s immune systems cannot handle vaccines

FACT: Infants and children have very strong immune systems. The immune system can never be truly overwhelmed because the cells in the system are constantly being replenished. Your child is exposed to a large variety of bacteria and viruses each day in their normal routine, making immunizations very small in comparison. Today’s vaccines have been thoroughly tested by the FDA and are incredibly safe for children.

Here are other resources regarding common vaccine myths and facts: