Get The Real Facts about Vaccine Safety
Science has proven vaccines are safe
Vaccines are the most important and successful public health tools used to prevent the spread of diseases. But in recent years, more conversations have occurred concerning the safety of these vaccines. During this same time, countless outbreaks of vaccinepreventable diseases have been reported, many of which could have been avoided if our communities were properly vaccinated.
Although diseases are changing every day, so are our vaccines in order to keep our communities safe. If you've heard contradictory information concerning vaccines and their safety, the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should address many of the questions and concerns you may have.
It's important to have a partnership with your healthcare provider so you can feel comfortable with vaccines and their intent. Feel comfortable addressing vaccine safety concerns with your doctor or your local health department; they have extensive information you need to make an informed decision related to vaccines.
Frequently asked questions
Are vaccinations really necessary?
Yes. Without them, you are exposed to diseases that could pose a serious threat to your health and the health of others. These diseases can be very dangerous including hospitalization and even death. Vaccines help to reduce the chances that we will become infected with the disease. In Iowa, and most other states, vaccinations are required to go to school. The fact that some of these diseases seem to occur only rarely is because of the protection of vaccines. The diseases still exist – all it takes for them to re-occur as they did in the past is for people to stop receiving their immunizations. We are already seeing that with measles in the United States and polio in other parts of the world.
Is there a link between vaccines and autism?
No. Despite what you may have heard or read, there has been no link found between vaccines and autism. Many of the studies that have shown this connection have been poorly designed or made to look like science. There have been many, many rigorous studies conducted that refute this link.
What about mercury in vaccines?
Ethylmercury is a product in thimerosal, a preservative used in some vaccines to prevent bacteria from growing in the vial. This is a different kind of mercury product than “methylmercury” which is found in fish, and the environment. Our bodies break down the ethylmercury and remove it quickly from the body. It does not remain and accumulate in the body. There is no association between thimerosal and autism, or any other adverse reactions to vaccines. The risk of an infection from a vial that does not have a preservative is very real; the claimed risk of any buildup of mercury is not.
What about their side effects?
While some people who get vaccinated may experience minor side effects such as a sore arm or low-grade fever, serious side effects from vaccinations are extremely rare. The diseases vaccines protect against are much more serious than any minor side effect, and the damages from disease are far more common than any effect of an immunization.
What are the long-term effects of vaccinations?
After years of experience with vaccinations, no evidence has been found that getting vaccinated causes long-term harm. The risk of contracting these serious diseases greatly outweighs any risks posed by vaccinations.
Protect yourself – get vaccinated
Thanks to vaccines, many serious diseases that were once common have now been greatly reduced or eliminated completely. Vaccines remain a safe way to keep healthy.