Vaccines are one of the most important preventive health measures you can take. Also called immunizations, they keep you, your loved ones, and the members of your community well.
Vaccinations are effective because they trigger your body’s immune system to recognize and attack a variety of viruses and diseases. Some use dead or weakened versions of the bacteria or virus, while others use one or more parts of the bacteria or virus they’re targeting, like pieces of the DNA.
The truth is, vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of serious diseases and prevent long-term health consequences. Unfortunately, despite their benefits, many myths about vaccines continue to circulate.
At Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, our providers want to set the record straight. Take a moment to read about the truth behind some common vaccination myths, and how we personalize your immunization experience.
FACT: FDA-approved vaccinations offer a safer, more effective way to build immunity.
This myth began with the fact that you can develop natural immunity to specific diseases once you’ve had them. However, this is a gamble that can come at a very high cost to you or your loved ones.
For example, before the measles vaccine, humans relied on “natural immunity” to the disease. But this meant 400-500 Americans — nearly all children — died from the disease every year.
Death isn’t the only risk. Becoming severely ill can mean costly medical expenses, like hospitalization. And it can have long-term health consequences, which can mean even more required medical care.
Immunizations can help you become less sick even if you still contract the disease. This reduces your risk of long-term health and financial consequence, and helps you get back to your normal, healthy state faster.
FACT: Children have incredible immune systems and can handle getting more than one vaccine at a time.
Our immune systems are resilient and designed to keep us healthy. And, in fact, children get exposed to more antigens in their daily environments than they do from immunizations.
What’s more, there’s never been a scientific study showing that spacing out vaccinations is more effective or safer for children or adults.
FACT: No scientific study has found a link between vaccines and autism.
This unfortunate rumor got its start with a single study from the late 1990s. It has since been proved wrong again and again by many other scientific studies, and the original study was retracted. Despite this, the myth persists.
FACT: Immunizations only use ingredients that are approved as safe for humans.
This myth gets its start from the fact that vaccines are made using different substances. This includes ingredients like formaldehyde and aluminum, which are toxic in large doses.
But the fact is that vaccinations use these substances as preservatives in such miniscule amounts, that they’re not harmful when used on humans. In fact, your body naturally makes formaldehyde, so it’s present in your system already.
There are times when ingredients in vaccines can be dangerous — such as when you’re allergic to a substance in a vaccine, like gelatin or egg protein. Always talk about any allergies or sensitivities with your provider before getting inoculated.
FACT: The only truly “dead” disease is smallpox, and the recent reappearance of once-rare diseases demonstrates the important role immunizations play in personal and public health.
Thanks to the effectiveness of vaccinations, some diseases that were once common in the United States are now extremely rare. But in our modern world, where it’s easier than ever to connect, these diseases are making a comeback — sometimes with devastating results.
The more people who get immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases, the safer we all are — including you and your family. For this reason, it’s best to stay on top of vaccination and project yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
As a family medicine practice, Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania provides pediatric and adult immunizations. Our providers take time to review your medical history, address any questions or concerns, provide personalized guidance about which vaccines you need, and work with you to create the best immunization schedule for your health.
For more information about vaccinations, schedule an appointment with a provider at your nearest Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania office in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, or Edwardsville, Pennsylvania.
Our practice accepts most health insurance, and we provide a sliding fee schedule for patients who qualify. And if transportation is a problem, our van service can bring you to and from the center.