Vaccine Safety

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Vaccines are subjected to many years of clinical testing. It takes as long as 15 years before some vaccines are approved and registered for use. However, you may require more convincing than just a vaccine safety record. Below are some of the commonly asked questions about vaccine safety.

Vaccine Safety Issue #1: How can vaccines be safe, if they are made from germs?

Vaccines only use either parts of a germ, or whole germs that have been killed or weakened. They are not the same germs. They are weaker versions of germs that cause diseases. In the manufacturing process, numerous procedures have been taken to ensure that the vaccine safety is ensured.

Furthermore, before a vaccine is approved for use in any country, internal and external verification of vaccine safety issues are undertaken to ensure it is suitable for use. Surveys continue even after the introduction of new vaccines. All adverse reactions are continuously reported after the vaccines are in general use.

Vaccine Safety Issue #2: Will your immune system be overwhelmed by so many vaccines?

No, vaccines will not overwhelm your immune system, as it is able to respond to multiple challenges. In fact, on a daily basis, you and your child’s immune systems are exposed to many foreign antigens (substances not found naturally in the body) through activities such as eating, drinking and playing.

In comparison, vaccines contain a much smaller number of antigens. Hence, even when multiple vaccines are given at the same time, or within a short period, they will not harm you or your child’s immune systems.

Vaccine Safety Issue #3: Does the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine cause autism?

No. This claim came from a study that was proven to be false. Additionally, there have been many studies done, in numerous countries, to determine whether there is any truth to this claim. In 14 years, none of these studies could find any evidence linking vaccines to autism. In fact, a study done in Japan (Honda et al, 2005) found that childhood autism rates continued to rise even after the withdrawal of the MMR vaccine. Therefore the MMR vaccine should not be blamed for causing autism.

Vaccine Safety Issue #4: Does the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) vaccine cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

No, some parents claimed that SIDS occurred one or two days after DTP vaccination. It is a natural misunderstanding that when one event follows another, the second event must be caused by the first.. In fact, SIDS commonly occurs in the same age range that babies get most of their immunisation shots. However, many studies have shown that vaccinated children are no more likely to fall victim to SIDS than children who are not vaccinated.