Vaccines are antigenic preparations used to stimulate the production of antibodies and providing immunity against a particular disease. The safety of vaccines is very important as they are given to prevent disease, and target all or many members of the population, most of them are healthy. Concerns about the manufacture and testing of vaccines mostly relate to the possibility of toxicity or harmful substances being contained in them or to biologic agents used in the manufacturing process.
Some of the myths and facts associated with vaccines are associated below:
• Myth # Vaccines are unsafe
Fact: All vaccines currently available must pass stringent safety testing before being approved for use. Some vaccines may provide some undesirable effects like pain or redness at the injected site or fever, but these are very mild and can be minimized by following proper guidelines.
• Myth # Vaccines are not adequately tested
Fact: Before vaccines are made available for use they are rigorously tested in thousands of people in progressively larger clinical trials. These trials are strictly monitored for safety.
• Myth # Vaccines contain toxic additives
Fact: All vaccines marketed are evaluated by the regulatory body of the concerned country to ensure they meet strict safety guidelines prior to being registered for use.
• Myth # Vaccines weaken or overwhelm the immune system
Fact: Vaccines don’t weaken the immune system, instead they strengthen it by inducing protection against specific diseases of children and adults.
• Myth # Immunization is unnatural
Fact: One reason often given for vaccination refusal is that vaccination interferes with the body natural processes. However, choosing to unvaccinated, and have the disease rather than prevent it, can have serious consequences.
• Myth # Homeopathic preparations are an alternative to conventional vaccines
Fact: There is no scientific basis to support the use of any homeopathic preparation in preventing diseases targeted by conventional vaccines, whereas the effectiveness of conventional vaccines is well established through large scale studies of their safety and efficacy.