Vaccinations: Physician Challenges and Solutions

February 13th, 2014 2 Min read Vaccinations: Physician Challenges and Solutions Blog
vaccinesWithin the first few months of your life, you probably received vaccinations for pertussis, measles and polio — diseases that are much less common today than they were 100 years ago. However, misconceptions about vaccines are common, and vaccination rates have declined in recent years. Help your patients become better informed about the benefits of vaccination with the following facts:
  • Vaccinations do not cause autism. Back in 1998, a study was published that mentioned the possible link between a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Though there is no evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism (and the paper was later retracted), the misconception still persists and has led to a drop in immunization rates.
  • Vaccinations are very safe. While some people may experience a mild fever or tenderness around the area where the shot was received, severe reactions to vaccines are very rare. The benefits of receiving a vaccination far outweigh any risks.
RELATED: 10 Common Myths about Flu Shots
  • Vaccinations are necessary even though some diseases have nearly been eradicated. Though polio and measles are very uncommon today in the United States as a result of vaccines, outbreaks still occur frequently, even in highly-developed areas like western Europe. Diseases can spread easily as people travel to and from the United States. Vaccines protect both you and those around you who have not been vaccinated.
  • Vaccinations prevent disease. The rates of many diseases declined as a result of cleaner living conditions, purified drinking water and better hygiene. However, vaccinations continue to be crucial in eradicating diseases. Sanitation and hygiene have not improved dramatically in most countries since the 1990s, but outbreaks have been common even in the past 20 years in areas where the vaccination rate is low.
  • Vaccinations do not cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This misconception circulates because infants often receive vaccinations at the same time they are susceptible to SIDS (when they are between two and four months old). Vaccinations are not linked to SIDS deaths, and the risk of infants contracting serious diseases like diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus — included in the combined vaccine often blamed for SIDS deaths — are higher. 
Educating your patients about vaccinations can help them make informed choices about what’s best for their families, especially if they have young children and are considering the pros and cons of vaccines.


Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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