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HEALTH

The Pro Vs Anti-Vaxxer Debate:

What You Need To Know?

Written by Dr Singh

17—FEB—2021 13:19 GMT
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esitancy to vaccinate has become quite common compared to half a century ago. Part of it has to do with a more tech savvy community where people take the initiative to be informed by going online. The problem is that not everything you read online may be true. 

Are Vaccines Actually Safe?

If the disease is gone, do I still need a vaccine? Can they really cause autism? What about the new Covid-19 vaccines? To answer these questions, we first need to understand how a vaccine works. Vaccines have a weakened or dead piece of the bacteria/virus (agent). The agent in a vaccine stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and "remembers" it.[4]

 

Vaccines generally go through a very tedious testing process before getting approved, to ensure it is both safe and effective. Vaccines are usually tested on animals and then it needs to be approved by an ethics committee. After this, then tests on people can begin. These clinical trials are conducted in phases, each with slightly different objectives and increasing numbers of volunteers.’[1] 

 

With vaccines, health experts rely on a concept called herd immunity where 95% of the population is vaccinated so a disease has nowhere to spread. However, some people’s immune system may not respond to the vaccine. However, they can be protected by the herd immunity effect if everyone else is vaccinated.

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You even get a cute bandage to go with it as a souvenir.
Image by CDC.

Do Vaccines Have Side Effects?

“Any vaccine can cause side effects. Usually these are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days.”[5] Some people may also be allergic to some of the contents of the vaccine, but the effects are mild and easily dealt with.

 

The vaccine-autism link is an argument often used by anti-vaxxers. It all started from an infamous article published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, in which Andrew Wakefield, a former British doctor, falsely linked the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to autism. Since then, there have been several studies done to disprove this result. Whereby no researchers found no association between MMR vaccination and increased ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) risk among privately insured children.”[4] [5]

 

If the vaccine has been approved by your local health sector and is recommended by your doctors, TAKE IT. There is no reason not to vaccinate. Stay happy, healthy and stay vaccinated.

References

1. Griffin, P. (2020). Explaining vaccine clinical trial phases. Medicalxpress.com. Retrieved 17 January 2021, from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-vaccine-clinical-trial-phases.html.

2. Jain, A., Marshall, J., Buikema, A., Bancroft, T., Kelly, J., & Newschaffer, C. (2015). Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism. JAMA, 313(15), 1534. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2015.3077

3. Madsen, K., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., & Thorsen, P. et al. (2002). A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism. New England Journal Of Medicine, 347(19), 1477-1482. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa021134

4. Vaccines and Immunization. Who.int. (2020). Retrieved 17 January 2021, from https://www.who.int/westernpacific/health-topics/vaccines-and-immunization.

5. Vaccines: Vac-Gen/Side Effects. Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 17 January 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm.