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Answers for the most FAQ about vaccines

Is it true that vaccines are accompanied by adverse effects?

Like any other drug treatment, vaccines can have adverse effects, but none of them are as severe as those diseases. Pain, moderate fever and even some serious but extremely rare side effects should be compared to the consequences of contracting the disease against which they are vaccinated. In the case of polio, for example, these consequences may include paralysis, and some diseases “defused” by vaccination may even result in death.

Is it good to postpone vaccination?

Delaying vaccinations will increase the period when children are at risk of contacting diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Some of these diseases – such as chickenpox, whooping cough, and pneumococcus infection – are still quite common. Although the vaccination program may seem somewhat rigid, it is based on the best available scientific information and is safer than alternative programs.

Separating, increasing the intervals between vaccinations or stopping vaccines poses problems, as children will be susceptible to disease for longer periods of time. Choosing the best time when a child should be vaccinated is based by balancing the moments when the child is at the highest risk of contracting the disease and when the vaccine will generally have the best immune response.

Finally, changing the vaccination schedule requires additional doctor visits. Following research into the level of cortisol (hormone released by the body in response to stress), it has been established that little ones are stressed more if they are given two injections instead of one. Therefore, a greater number of doctor visits for individual injections will put the child in more stressful situations. In addition, this implies an increased potential for administrative errors, more time allocated to doctor visits and higher costs.

Do children get too many vaccines too early?

The immune system of newborns faces many challenges simultaneously. From the moment of birth, thousands of different bacteria begin to live on the surface of the baby’s intestines. Having rapid immune responses to these bacteria, they prevent them from invading the circulatory system and causing serious illness.

In fact, babies are capable of responding to millions of different viruses and bacteria because they have billions of immune cells circulating in their bodies. This is why vaccines made in the first two years of life represent “a drop of water from an ocean” from what a child’s immune system meets and successfully manages every day.

Is the immunity gained through vaccination better than that gained from being ill?

Yes, it is. The diseases that we prevent by vaccination have serious complications, sometimes debilitating and with life-long effects. Although vaccines are not risk-free (like any other medical product) and can cause side effects, they are rarely so serious and can rarely be associated exclusively with vaccination. The safety of vaccination is ensured by the multiple control steps, the studies done prior to vaccine licensing, as well as the monitoring systems for adverse reactions.

They show globally that vaccines are safe and effective, eliminating serious diseases that continue to kill unvaccinated children and adults.

Is it true that many people who are infected with infectious diseases have actually been vaccinated?

No, it’s not true. Most people suffering from diseases preventable through vaccination have not been vaccinated. It is true, however, that no vaccine offers 100% protection and often vaccination protocols are not strictly adhered to. For example, over 90% of measles cases reported in 2009 had received less than the two recommended doses of measles vaccine.

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