In today’s world, there’s a lot of information flying around. And some of it can be wrong — even in the medical world. It’s no different with vaccines, and the chatter can cause needless worry for parents. Time to set the record straight.
Let’s start by dispelling three myths about childhood vaccines:
Myth: Vaccines cause autism.
Fact: This myth got started several years ago when a study came out that showed a link between the two. The study has since been retracted. Autism does tend to appear at the same time as certain vaccines are given — including the one for measles, mumps, and rubella — but that timing is coincidence.
Myth: If your child misses vaccinations as an infant, the vaccines won’t work later.
Fact: Experts say that children who miss their first shots at two months can start later. Or, if your child received some but not all of the recommended vaccines, he or she can catch up without having to start over. Call your doctor or the health department if you have concerns.
Myth: So-called “combo” vaccines are less effective than single-dose types.
Fact: Compared to single-dose vaccines, vaccines given in combination are just as effective and come with no greater risk of side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two common combination vaccines for children are DTaP for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough), and MMR for measles, mumps, and rubella.
If you’re hesitant about getting your child vaccinated, remember that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Childhood vaccines can:
- Keep your child healthy. They’re safe and effective against common illnesses.
- Save you time and money. Preventing illness is much easier than treating it.
- Protect the community. Many preventable illnesses spread from person to person.
To connect with a pediatric health coach, call 1-866-778-6073 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. TTY users should call 711.
For more information, see these other helpful resources:
Have you heard any childhood vaccine myths that you’d like to share?