Immunization

Healthy Choices, Healthy Children : Why Vaccinations Are A Healthy Choice for A Strong Immune System!

Pediatricians of Ontario (Pediatrics Section, Ontario Medical Association) recognize that some parents have concerns about vaccines. That's why the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario asked more than 130 pediatricians what parents were asking them about vaccinations. This handout talks about what they heard from parents and offers information from the pediatricians themselves.

MYTH #1 : Vaccines can cause disorders such as autism.

The Facts - Vaccines help to build your child's immune system so it can resist harmful diseases. Because children are vaccinated at around the same age as autism is often diagnosed, some people think vaccinations and autism are linked … but they're not! Vaccines do not cause autism.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #2 : A few of the materials used in vaccines are unsafe.

The Facts - In Canada, we have very strict guidelines for making vaccines. Safety tests are carried out by the Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate of Health Canada. Certain materials – such as thimerosal, formaldehyde and aluminum – are used to kill bacteria and make vaccines as safe and effective as possible.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #3 : Multiple injections will overwhelm my baby's immune system.

The Facts - Vaccines are designed to protect your baby as soon as possible against more than one disease. Rather than overwhelming your baby's immune system, vaccines make the immune system stronger. Babies do not experience more side effects when more than one vaccine is given at a time.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #4 : "Natural" immunity is better than vaccine immunity.

The Facts - Natural infection from certain diseases can kill or seriously harm your child before his/her body is able to develop a strong immune system. Vaccines use harmless or inactive virus or bacteria to trigger the body's natural immune response to provide long-term protection against a disease, without the risk of getting the disease. Vaccination is like a rehearsal for the immune system, so it is prepared if your child is exposed to the "real" disease.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #5 : Vaccine-preventable diseases don't exist in Canada anymore, so there is no need for my child to be immunized.

The Facts - We are lucky! Our immunization programs have reduced the number of cases of and deaths resulting from many serious diseases in Canada. Even if the chances of contracting them in Canada are quite small, these diseases still exist in other parts of the world and can infect anyone who is not protected. Vaccination continues to provide the best protection against these diseases.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #6 : Many people who are immunized still get the disease, which proves that vaccines don't work.

The Facts - Sometimes a person does not develop immunity to the disease after being vaccinated. However, it is important to note that the vaccine does not cause the disease. As well, if a person who is vaccinated develops the disease, it will be less severe.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


MYTH #7 : A healthy lifestyle and breastfeeding are enough to protect me and my child.

The Facts - A healthy lifestyle is important to help maintain your overall good health. Breastfeeding gives babies a great start but it will not protect your child against all of the specific diseases that can be prevented with vaccination.

What does this mean for me and my family? Here's what pediatricians say :


Conclusions

Vaccines are safe and effective, and immunization programs in Canada help protect you and your family from vaccine-preventable diseases. It is very important that you talk to your health care provider about any concerns regarding vaccines. Health care providers are passionate about protecting children and will take the time to discuss your concerns and share their knowledge about how vaccines work to build your child's immune system! A healthy immune system is the key to wellness.

Download a PDF handout for your patients

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Resources

The following list of online resources will help you learn more about vaccines. Remember, when looking for information, it is important to consider the source. Check to see if the website is sponsored by a government or non-profit organization, or a doctor or other health care professional.

For More Information

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