What are common misconceptions about childhood immunizations? I think that they really fall into, there’s really a few major ones that I would think I’ve heard. In broad themes, one common misconception is that vaccines are not effective. There’s really no evidence that supports that idea. We’ve seen rates of vaccine-preventable illness decrease dramatically after the introduction of vaccines. Some people try to explain that through various hygiene explanations or what not. We can see this even in vaccines that were introduced over the past 20 years. We’ve seen new vaccines that have come out are showing dramatic improvement in the incidence of those diseases. I don’t think that holds much water. One misconception is that vaccines don’t work. This is not true.
The other misconception is often the vaccines aren’t safe. While I understand many people have concerns about anything that goes into their child’s body, I would want parents to be reassured that we would never recommend something if we thought it was unsafe. Vaccines are the most carefully studied drug that people will ever take. There is nothing that you have taken as an adult. There is nothing that your child will take that’s received as much scrutiny for safety as vaccines have, and they’re monitored on an ongoing basis as well. So vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Those are the two major misconceptions that I think people carry.