People say that vaccines are linked to long-term health problems such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and autism. Is that true? All vaccines have possible side effects. Most, however, are mild and temporary. Adverse effects from vaccines are monitored thoroughly via multiple reporting systems, and there is no evidence from these systems to support these claims. The vaccine information sheet for my child’s recent vaccination listed lots of potential side effects. Why is vaccination recommended if it can cause all of these side effects? Every vaccine has potential side effects. Typically they are very mild: soreness at the injection site (for a vaccine delivered via a shot), headaches, and low-grade fevers are examples of common vaccine side effects. Serious side effects are possible, however, including severe allergic reactions. However, the occurrence of these side effects is extremely rare. (Your doctor can explain the risks for individual vaccines in detail; more info…Read more about People say that vaccines are linked to long-term health problems ?
Why is allergy to eggs a contraindication to getting some vaccines? Some vaccines, including the majority of vaccines against influenza, are cultured in chicken eggs. During the process of creating the vaccine, the majority of the egg protein is removed, but there is some concern that these vaccines might generate an allergic reaction in individuals with an egg allergy. A recent report found that the majority of children with egg allergies who were given a flu shot had no adverse reactions; about 5% of children in the studied group developed relatively minor reactions such as hives, the majority of which resolved without treatment. Additional research is underway to study this issue further. In most cases, only people with a severe (life-threatening) allergy to eggs are recommended against receiving egg-based vaccines. Your doctor can provide specific information. Do vaccines cause autism? No. Vaccines do not cause autism. This possibility was publicized after a 1998 …Read more about Do vaccines cause autism?
Do we do enough safety testing with vaccines? Vaccines are tested repeatedly before being approved, and continue to be monitored for adverse reactions after their release. See our article on vaccine testing and safety for more information and details about this topic. Do vaccines have aborted fetal tissue? No. The rubella vaccine virus that is included in the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot is cultured using human cell lines. The vaccine material is carefully separated from the cells in which is was grown before being used. Some of these cell lines were generated from fetal tissue that was obtained in the 1960s from legal abortions. No new fetal tissue is required to generate rubella vaccine. What is herd immunity? Is it real? Does it work? How do vaccines work? Do they work against viruses and bacteria? COVID Action by Sadhguru | Empower yourself in this challenge time, iiQ8 Sadhguru Voice about COVID-19 & Vaccine, iiQ8 What is herd immunity? Is it real? …Read more about Do we do enough safety testing with vaccines?
Isn’t it true that better hygiene and nutrition were responsible for decreases in deaths and disease rates, rather than vaccines? Improved hygiene and nutrition, among other factors, can certainly lower the incidence of some diseases. Data documenting the number of cases of a disease before and after the introduction of a vaccine, however, demonstrate that vaccines are overwhelmingly responsible for the largest drops in disease rates. Measles cases, for example, numbered anywhere from 300,000 to 800,000 a year in the United States between 1950 and 1963, when a newly licensed measles vaccine went into widespread use. By 1965, U.S. measles cases were beginning a dramatic drop. In 1968 about 22,000 cases were reported (a drop of 97.25% from the height of 800,000 cases in just three years); by 1998, the number of cases averaged about 100 per year or less. A similar post-vaccination drop occurred with most diseases for which vaccines are available. Perhaps the best evidence that vac…Read more about Isn’t it true that better hygiene and nutrition were responsible for decreases in deaths and disease rates, rather than vaccines?
Why can’t we eradicate other diseases, as we did with smallpox? In theory, nearly any infectious disease for which an effective vaccine exists should be eradicable. With sufficient vaccination levels and coordination between public health organizations, a disease can be prevented from gaining a foothold anywhere; eventually, without anyone to infect, it must die off. (A notable exception is tetanus, which is infectious but not contagious: it’s caused by a bacterium commonly found in animal feces, among other places. Thus, tetanus could not be eradicated without completely removing the Clostridium tetani bacterium from the planet.) Smallpox is unusual, however, in the set of characteristics that made it susceptible to eradication. Unlike many other infectious diseases, smallpox has no animal reservoir. That is, it can’t “hide” in an animal population and re-emerge to infect humans, while some diseases can do just that (yellow fever, for example, can infect some primates; if a mo…Read more about Why can’t we eradicate other diseases, as we did with smallpox?
Is the Polio vaccine linked to HIV? In the 1990s, certain critics began to blame the testing of a live, weakened polio vaccine in Africa in the 1950s for the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Those behind the accusation argued that chimpanzee cells were used to create the vaccine, and that those cells had been contaminated with a virus that sometimes affects chimps: simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV. When the vaccine was given to children in Africa, they argued, SIV mutated to become human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which causes AIDS. The accusations, however, were demonstrably false for a variety of reasons. Most notably, the weakened polio vaccine was not made with chimpanzee cells, but with monkey cells. The vaccine was later tested using a technique that can detect viral DNA (the PCR technique, or polymerase chain reaction); it did not contain SIV or HIV. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in Alabama demonstrated in 2006 that while HIV …Read more about Is the Polio vaccine linked to HIV?
Is the Polio vaccine linked with Cancer? The polio vaccines developed by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin in the mid-20th century were made with monkey cells. Years later, microbiologist Maurice Hilleman found a monkey virus in both vaccines—the 40th monkey virus to be discovered, which he called Simian Virus 40 (SV40). (Salk’s killed vaccine, which had been treated with formaldehyde, had very small amounts of the virus; Sabin’s live vaccine was heavily contaminated.) Worried about the potential effects the virus could have on humans, Hilleman injected it into hamsters, finding that nearly all of them developed massive cancerous tumors. But the initial panic this caused gave way in the face of future studies. First, hamsters that ingested SV40 instead of being injected with it didn’t get cancer. Sabin’s live vaccine (which contained more SV40 than Salk’s) was given orally. Additional studies showed that children who were given Sabin’s vaccine did not develop antibodies to SV40; it s…Read more about Is the Polio vaccine linked with Cancer?
Why are there so many vaccines? Currently, the U.S. childhood vaccination schedule for children between birth and six years of age recommends immunizations for 14 different diseases. Some parents worry that this number seems high, particularly since some of the diseases being vaccinated against are now extremely rare in the United States. Each disease for which vaccinations are recommended, however, can causes serious illness or death in unvaccinated populations, and might quickly begin to appear again if vaccination rates dropped. The United States has seen mumps outbreaks in recent years since vaccination rates have dropped, with severe complications and hospitalizations required for some patients. And before the introduction of the Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b) vaccine, Hib meningitis affected more than 12,000 American children annually, killing 600 and leaving many others with seizures, deafness, and developmental disabilities. After introduction of the vaccine, the n…Read more about Why are there so many vaccines?
Is natural immunity better than vaccine-acquired immunity? In some cases, natural immunity is longer-lasting than the immunity gained from vaccination. The risks of natural infection, however, outweigh the risks of immunization for every recommended vaccine. For example, wild measles infection causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) for one in 1,000 infected individuals. Overall, measles infection kills two of every 1,000 infected individuals. In contrast, the combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine results in a severe allergic reaction only once in every million vaccinated individuals, while preventing measles infection. The benefits of vaccine-acquired immunity extraordinarily outweigh the serious risks of natural infection. (For more on this topic, see our Understanding Risks activity.) Additionally, the Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and tetanus vaccines actually provide more effective immunity than natural infection. COVID Action by Sadhgu…Read more about Is natural immunity better than vaccine-acquired immunity?
Why do some vaccines require boosters? It’s not completely understood why the length of acquired immunity varies with different vaccines. Some offer lifelong immunity with only one dose, while others require boosters in order to maintain immunity. Recent research has suggested that the persistence of immunity against a particular disease may depend on the speed with which that disease typically progresses through the body. If a disease progresses very rapidly, the immune system’s memory response (that is, the “watchdog antibodies” generated after a previous infection or vaccination) may not be able to respond quickly enough to prevent infection—unless they’ve been “reminded” about the disease fairly recently and are already watching for it. Boosters serve as a “reminder” to your immune system. Research is continuing on the persistence of immunity generated by vaccines. COVID Action by Sadhguru | Empower yourself in this challenge time, iiQ8 Sadhguru Voice about COVID-1…Read more about Why do some vaccines require boosters?