Nothing matters in life other than good health. That is a given because there is no life, otherwise. But, before the facts come the myths. Fighting the latter is a challenge, many a time. A majority of the doctors will dismiss many a myth with a “grandmother stories not to be believed” or simply say, science has proven otherwise. So, there is no reason to be worried about. That is the precise intent here as well. Here are some myths and facts about vaccinations.
Are there any studies to back up the claim that pain-free vaccines are not as effective and some doctors give boosters for all the vaccines given?
Yes. There have been a large number of studies mainly in the US and Australia because these were the two countries which saw resurgence of Pertussis or whooping cough in the late 2000. These studies reiterated the stand that the Whole-cell vaccine is better and longer lasting. The World Health Organisation ( WHO) has also taken a position on this issue.
It is better to let the child’s natural immunity develop rather than administering vaccines?
Vaccines do not weaken the immunity system. Vaccination is not ready made protection against any disease. The child’s body produces antibodies to fight with the vaccine germs which help in fighting disease germs at the later stage when the child may come in contact with those diseases in future.
Is it true that human bodies need to react to the vaccine and only then it becomes effective?
No. Modern vaccines are highly purified vaccines. For instance, the vaccine against chicken pox now does not cause fever or pain and is highly effective. This is a very old concept.
Have pain-free vaccines been stopped because “the stock is not good’’?
It is not a question of stock. Pain-free vaccines are not produced in India. They are always imported. The import, too, has now been stopped. But, it is a fact that the Western countries are still using pain-free vaccines.
Is the choice between pain-free and the “painful” vaccines dependent only on fever after vaccine has been administered?
It is not so. The pain and fever can be managed with simple medicines prescribed by the doctor. There is a certain amount of anxiety among parents but they need to look at the long term effect of the vaccine rather than the short term.