There’s a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines, and it can make some people reluctant to get these life-saving injections. Don’t let those harmful myths leave you and your family unprotected. Let’s discuss a few of the most common falsehoods surrounding vaccines and uncover the truth to help you make informed decisions for your health.
Vaccines allow you to build immunity without the damaging effects that vaccine-preventable diseases can have.
These diseases can cause serious health problems and even be life-threatening. For example, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can cause intellectual disability, and measles can lead to death. You can avoid all of these effects by simply getting vaccinated.
According to the World Health Organization, serious side effects from vaccines are rare. In fact, many adverse effects are so rare that their risk cannot be accurately assessed statistically. Some people can experience mild side effects from some vaccines, like soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever. But they go away quickly, usually within a few days at the most.
It’s not true that vaccines give you the disease they’re vaccinating you against. Vaccines are made from weak or dead germs in really small amounts, but there aren’t enough to make you sick.
Some vaccines contain ingredients like formaldehyde and aluminum, but these trace amounts are so small that they're not considered toxic or harmful. According to the CDC, the amount of formaldehyde in vaccines is even less than the amount that occurs naturally in the human body.
The gelatin and egg proteins used in some flu vaccines can cause allergic reactions in very rare cases. The people who are affected typically have a history of severe allergies to gelatin or eggs. If you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, talk to your doctor or the person administering your vaccine.
Diseases that were once common in the United States, like measles or polio, are now rare or even eliminated completely because generations of people were vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities. Still, in recent years outbreaks of measles have swept through unvaccinated communities in the United States. In 2019, the CDC confirmed 1,274 cases of measles across 31 states. This was the highest case count in the country since 1992.
Even outside our neighborhood, in our globalized world, the potential exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases is only a plane ride away. In all of human history, smallpox is the only disease to be eradicated from the planet completely.
Vaccines don't cause autism. It’s as simple as that.
This false claim stems from a discredited and retracted study that linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism. Unfortunately, this flawed study has kicked off a resilient storm of misinformation. Hundreds of studies across the globe have shown time and time again that there is no connection.
There are some claims that vaccines are or will be used to microchip people so they can be tracked or controlled through 5G cell phone towers. This is not only false but impossible. Evidence suggests that this conspiracy theory was spread by people seeking to sow disinformation among Americans.
Don’t be caught in lies and confusion where your health is concerned. If you have questions about vaccines, their safety, or their potential side effects, your primary care provider is the best person to talk to. Make an appointment at a CHP clinic in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston to open a conversation to help you make carefully considered decisions when they impact your health.