Vaccine misinformation refers to false or misleading information about vaccines that is spread deliberately or unintentionally. In December, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky described vaccine misinformation as one of the biggest threats to public health. When people are misinformed about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, they may decide not to get vaccinated or delay their vaccine, which can lead to outbreaks of preventable diseases.
Not only is misinformation a threat to individual health, but it can also have a broader impact on public health. Herd immunity occurs when a high percentage of the population is vaccinated and can provide protection to the most vulnerable such as infants and people with weakened immune systems, who are unable to get vaccinated. The entire population becomes more vulnerable to disease outbreaks when vaccination rates fall, and herd immunity is lost.
We are here to address vaccine misinformation, debunk false claims, and keep you informed about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Public distrust of vaccines has drastically increased, and has led to many myths about vaccination, such as the ones listed below.
Claim 1: Vaccines Cause Autism
This claim was based on a study that has been discredited and retracted by the journal that published it. The study was greatly flawed, and numerous studies have found no link between vaccines and autism. Therefore, this claim is false and has been extensively discredited by numerous scientific studies.
Claim 2: Natural Immunity if Better than Vaccine-Acquired Immunity
Although natural infection can result in stronger and longer-lasting immunity than vaccines, the risks associated with natural infections can be much higher, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Vaccines are effective at preventing severe infection and risks. They help your immune system fight infections faster and more effectively.
Claim 3: mRNA Vaccines Enter Cells and Change DNA
MRNA’s function is to teach the body how to make proteins. The mRNA vaccines temporarily teach cells to make the spike protein found in COVID-19. The immune system then defeats the protein using the antibodies it creates. These antibodies provide you with protection against COVID-19. mRNA vaccines were first authorized for emergency use against COVID-19 and have been shown to be highly effective in preventing illness and hospitalizations from the virus. mRNA vaccines do not enter cells and change DNA.
Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. It is important to get medical information from credible and trusted health organizations and qualified medical professionals that use evidence-based information.
If you have any questions about vaccines and would like to schedule an appointment, please visit henryjaustin.org/services or call 609-278-5900.
CDC director warns vaccine misinformation is a public health threat (nbcnews.com)
Vaccines and Autism | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (chop.edu)
How Do mRNA Vaccines Work? Research Facts and Common Myths (healthline.com)
Herd immunity and COVID-19: What you need to know – Mayo Clinic
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