Understanding the Truth About Vaccines

Separating facts from fiction can be a matter of life and death

1669683090DAYTON, Ohio (Feb. 18, 2019) – As technology has improved, so has our ability to gain access to valuable information on a variety of subjects. Though this may seem positive, it can sometimes also be difficult to tell the difference between what is true and false.

The struggle for clarity around the safety and necessity of vaccinations illustrates this difficulty. Misconceptions abound on this subject as a result of rumors spread online. 

Some concerned parents have even elected to delay or completely for go vaccinating their children or even themselves from a number of life-threatening diseases. A look at recent history may shed helpful light on these concerns and help parents make healthier choices to protect themselves, their families, and their community.   

“In 1998, a study was released which was later found to be false, which linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism,” said Brandon Bell, MD, with Monroe Medical Group. “Though this was disproved, the rumor has persisted, making some parents wary that vaccinations can actually cause harm. There is a lot of misinformation that’s still being perpetuated out there. We as health care providers have a responsibility to help parents understand that the risk of infectious disease for the unvaccinated child is far greater than any perceived risk from vaccination itself.”

Dr. Bell points out that scientifically proven studies have shown that children should receive regularly scheduled vaccinations at times specially designated to be given when their immune systems are most receptive.  Parents who might be concerned that their children are getting too many vaccines at the same time should understand that their fears are unfounded. The average child is exposed to thousands of potentially harmful antigens each day that are far more dangerous than any vaccine ingredient.

Ironically, vaccines have become so effective at minimizing the impact or occurrence of certain diseases that some families have been misled into thinking that their children no longer need to be vaccinated at all.

“One common misconception is that certain diseases simply aren't around anymore; therefore, children don't need to be immunized for them,” said Dr. Bell, who practices with Premier Physician Network.  “That's one thing that is floating around the Internet right now, and it’s simply untrue and very dangerous. Though some may be rarer than others, it's crucial that we prevent them from popping back up because they can be extremely deadly.”

Dr. Bell simply advises parents to meet regularly with their children’s pediatrician or family physician to maintain a vaccination schedule. Adults should also understand the importance of consulting with their doctor to keep up-to-date on their own vaccines, which can help prevent diseases like influenza, shingles, and pneumonia. 

This not only allows them to take better control of their health, but also to discuss any concerns or questions they have about something they may have heard or read. After all, becoming immunized against misinformation may prove to be just as important as an actual vaccine itself.

For more information about vaccinations or to schedule an appointment with a Premier Physician Network physician near you, visit PremierHealth.com/Schedule.

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