Myths and Facts About Vaccines

Your body’s immune system protects you from getting sick. When you come in contact with a disease, your immune system works to build antibodies that fight off the disease’s antigens. If the disease attacks your immune system faster than antibodies are created, you get sick.

A vaccine is an injection containing disease antigens that have been modified so they don’t make you sick. When you get a vaccine, your body is introduced to the disease, and it makes antibodies to protect you from the disease in the future. 

Vaccines are an important part of modern medicine and are responsible for diminished outbreaks of contagious diseases like polio, measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, and more. Children should get vaccines on a regular schedule to protect them from disease and keep them healthy throughout their lives.

For comprehensive well-child visits, including vaccines, visit Said Attoussi, MD, and the team at Nashville Family Medical Clinic. Our team can help you learn what vaccinations your child needs based on their age. 

Myth: Vaccines sicken you with the disease you’re trying to prevent

Because vaccines contain the disease’s antigens, don’t they make you sick of the disease you’re trying to prevent? 

In fact, vaccines contain inactive or weakened disease antigens, allowing your body to develop protection against the disease without suffering illness. In some cases, it’s possible that you may experience mild symptoms that look like those of the disease.

However, the symptoms are the body’s reaction to the vaccine, not the disease. If symptoms do occur, they are extremely mild compared with the symptoms of the disease being prevented.  

Myth: Vaccinations cause autism

Autism, a developmental disorder that impacts communication and social interaction, was once rumored to be linked to childhood vaccinations. 

In fact, vaccines are safe and don’t cause the development of autism or other health conditions. Autism spectrum disorders are often identified around the same time as routine immunizations, but there is no link between autism and vaccination. 

While the cause of autism is largely unknown, it’s thought to be a combination of genetic factors and conditions during fetal development.

Myth: My child doesn’t need vaccinations because everyone else already has immunity

Some parents believe that choosing not to have their child vaccinated affects only their child. After all, since everyone else has the vaccinations, there’s no chance of exposure to preventable diseases.

In fact, not vaccinating your child contributes to the spread of infectious diseases. While the incidence of deadly infectious diseases in the United States is low, not vaccinating your child still puts them at risk. 

If enough children go without getting vaccinated, outbreaks will occur more frequently, and your child’s health could be impacted. 

Vaccinating children also protects the people around them, including children who are too young for vaccines and people who have weakened immune systems. For young children or people who have cancer and other health conditions, exposure to one of these preventable diseases could lead to death.

Making sure your child gets all of their recommended vaccinations is one of the best things you can do to protect their health. To learn more, call our clinic today, send us a message here on our website, or use our convenient online booking feature.

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