Vaccination myths debunked - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription

Vaccination myths debunked

Few topics in medicine generate as much spirited debate as vaccinations, especially the ones recommended for young children.

A growing number of parents, skeptical of potential benefits and fearful of perceived side effects (such as the possible link between vaccinations and autism), are choosing to keep their children from receiving important immunizations.

Here are the most common concerns:

  • Vaccines don't work. Some believe that vaccinations don't work because even those who receive them still might become sick. Although that's true, it doesn't mean vaccines are ineffective. In fact, history suggests otherwise. Consider smallpox: This disease ravaged entire populations in the 18th century until widespread vaccination efforts essentially eradicated it from the planet.
  • Vaccines aren't necessary. There is some truth to the fact that healthy people can fight infections just fine on their own. But many people, such as the elderly, have weaker immune systems and can't fight them like the rest of us can. By decreasing the level of infection in the general population, we're reducing the likelihood that these folks will get exposed.
  • Vaccines are dangerous. Because vaccinations have potential side effects, it is imperative to assess both the risks and the benefits. When it comes to our population's health and vaccinations, the evidence shows that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

From the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, and this is the President's Prescription.


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