July 31, 2013

Myth #1 :  Vaccine preventable diseases have been eliminated in the United States therefore eliminating the need for childhood vaccination.


  • Because of international travel and immigration, many diseases once controlled in the
    United States are re-emerging.
  • Because many diseases are not controlled in other parts of the world, travelers could unknowingly bring these diseases into the United States.  If people were not protected by vaccines, these diseases could quickly spread throughout the US population.
  • Even if we think our chances of getting any of preventable diseases is small, the fact remains that these diseases exist and can still infect anyone who is not protected.
  • By being immunized, we can also help protect others who may have allergies to vaccine components or others who might not respond to vaccines.  A successful vaccination program depends on the cooperation of all citizens in our county to ensure the good of all.


Myth #2:  Vaccines have many harmful side effects including SIDS and Autism.

The Facts:

  • Controlled studies over a number of years have concluded that “the evidence does not indicate a causal relationship between DTap vaccine (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Source Institute of Medicine).
  • This myth also contends that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is linked to autism because of the preservative thimerosal.  According to the CDC, while many studies have been conducted to investigate a causal relationship, no link has ever been found.

Myth #3:  Hygiene and Better Nutrition are responsible for the Reduction in Disease Rates-Not

The Facts:

  • According to the CDC, improved hygiene and nutrition, among other factors, can certainly lower the incidence of some diseases. Data documenting the number of cases of a disease before and after the introduction of a vaccine, however, demonstrate that vaccines are overwhelmingly responsible for the largest drops in disease rates.
  • Measles cases, for example, numbered anywhere from 300,000 to 800,000 a year in the United States between 1950 and 1963, when a newly licensed measles vaccine went into widespread use. By 1965, U.S. measles cases were beginning a dramatic drop. In 1968 about 22,000 cases were reported (a drop of 97.25% from the height of 800,000 cases in just three years); by 1998, the number of cases averaged about 100 per year or less. A similar post-vaccination drop occurred with most diseases for which vaccines are available.
  • Perhaps the best evidence that vaccines, and not hygiene and nutrition, are responsible for the sharp drop in disease and death rates is chickenpox. If hygiene and nutrition alone were enough to prevent infectious diseases, chickenpox rates would have dropped long before the introduction of the varicella vaccine, which was not available until the mid-1990s. Instead, the number of chickenpox cases in the United States in the early 1990s, before the vaccine was introduced in 1995, was about four million a year. By 2004, the disease incidence had dropped by about 85% (source CDC).