Feb 20, 2015

Four Vaccine Myths Debunked

They cause autism: The origin of the myth was from a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Most of Dr. Andrew Wakefield's co-authors withdrew their names from the study in 2004 after learning he had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers. The same year, the Institute of Medicine reviewed evidence from the US, Denmark, Sweden, and the UK and found no connection between vaccines and autism. Around 2010, another British medical journal concluded Wakefield's study misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of his study.

The Lancet retracted Wakefield's paper in 2010 and he lost his medical license.

They contain poison: The cause was from a preservative and Thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines. In 2001, the FDA stopped issuing licenses for children's vaccines containing it. The preservative has been used for decades and still is in adult vaccines. There have been many studies and none of them show a correlation with autism or other serious side effects, the FDA says.

Doctors and insurance companies promote vaccinations to drive profits: Some insurers pay the cost of vaccinations to prevent paying more later, when a patient gets sick. A 2009 study found that up to a third of doctors actually lose money when giving vaccines.

The diseases they help prevent are long gone: One example of this effect is before the measles vaccine was introduced in the 1960s, there were between 3 to 4 million cases a year, resulting in 400 to 500 US deaths. Measles vaccination in the US has reduced the rate of infection in the population by 99% when compared to times when no vaccine was available. Measles has been on an uptick this year, because so many children have not been vaccinated against it.