Doctors are available to administer vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic and are taking precautions to ensure protection from COVID-19. Many medical procedures including vaccinations were delayed due to the pandemic but, it is essential everyone gets up to date on their vaccines. Getting vaccinated is more important now than ever.
There is zero scientific evidence vaccines cause autism, despite much misinformation. This stems from a thoroughly-discredited study about 20 years ago that linked the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine with autism. While the causes of autism are not completely understood, it’s a fact that vaccines are not a cause.
Vaccines used in Canada are rigorously tested. And while some vaccines do contain weakened versions of a germ, the key word is weakened. Vaccines will not infect you with the disease they are meant to protect you from. Your doctor will make sure you (and nobody’s too old to be vaccinated) or your child can safely receive the vaccine.
Some vaccines, like the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) protect against multiple diseases with one dose. This saves you or your children from more injections. It’s also safe. Every day, you come into contact with many more substances that can trigger immune responses (like the common cold for example) than are contained in vaccines.
The dangers of serious infectious diseases making a comeback are far more severe than any mild side effect of a vaccine. It’s true some mild side effects are possible such as soreness in the area of the injection; a headache; in rare cases, a mild fever. Many medications have side effects as they make you better, and vaccines are sometimes no different as they protect you from getting sick.
A lot of the opposition to vaccination centres on allergies. And it’s true, in one or two instances per million vaccinations, someone may have a serious allergic reaction. That’s 0.0001 per cent. So allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. Yet for that one person in a million, also potentially serious. It’s important to keep in mind that serious allergic reactions take place almost instantly, meaning the person will be in a doctor’s office or hospital setting where they can receive the care they need to control the reaction and recover.
Nine out of 10 people who have not been vaccinated can be expected to catch it. In 2017, measles killed an estimated 110,000 people around the world, and in developing countries about one in 100 children who catch measles will die from it.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
You might be reading this because you’ve got questions about vaccines after reading something elsewhere. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Let’s start with the impact that not vaccinating one person can have on others.
Source: Health Canada
Vaccines are most effective when everyone is vaccinated. But not everyone can be. Infants, for example, are too young, while people with damaged immune systems such as cancer patients also can’t be vaccinated. Fortunately, if a high enough percentage of everyone else has been vaccinated, spreading diseases such as the measles to people who haven’t been vaccinated becomes unlikely. This is called herd, or community, immunity.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Herd immunity is achieved when about 95 per cent of the population are vaccinated against a disease like the measles. That’s how countries like Canada managed to become nearly measles-free, with only a very small number of new cases. Almost all of those cases were caught by people travelling abroad. When people stop vaccinating themselves and their children, however, herd immunity is lost and diseases spread like wildfire to people too young or too sick to be vaccinated.