GET YOUR SHOT: Vaccines help prevent many illnesses & diseases. Photo: Pinterest.com
GET YOUR SHOT: Vaccines help prevent many illnesses & diseases. Photo: Pinterest.com

There are many vaccine facts and myths, but the truth is getting shots for common illnesses and diseases literally saves lives.

The UMHS Endeavour debunks three common misconceptions about vaccines for the general public and students at American and Caribbean medical schools.

Myth: HPV Vaccine is for Girls Only

Fact: Both boys and girls will benefit from HPV vaccine. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) affects both genders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its website, “A lot of parents know that HPV vaccine protects girls against cervical cancer. But did you know that vaccinating boys can protect them against cancer, too? HPV can cause anal cancer and mouth/throat (oropharyngeal cancer), and cancer of the penis in men. Every year, there are over 9,300 HPV-related cancers in men. Many of these cancers could be prevented by HPV vaccine.”

The CDC continues, “One HPV vaccine—Gardasil—is recommended by doctors and health experts for boys at age 11-12 years old. The vaccine can also help prevent genital warts. HPV vaccination of boys is also likely to benefit girls by reducing the spread of HPV viruses.”

For more information, visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/features/hpvvaccineboys/

Myth: Vaccines cause autism

Fact: The 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield that claimed a link “between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism” has been proven false. Health.com says in 1994, the Institute of Medicine reported there was no scientific evidence proving the link, and the CDC released a similar report back in 2010.

“It’s more risky for your child to not be vaccinated,” Carrie Nelson, MD, chair of the Commission on Health of the Public and Science for the American Academy of Family Physicians, told Health.com.

Myth: Getting too many vaccinations can weaken the immune system.

Fact: Getting several vaccinations at once actually protects people, particularly children.

Health.com says, “Children are given multiple vaccinations at a time to provide as much protection as early as possible. Both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that vaccinations be given to children simultaneously when appropriate.”

For more information, visit http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20476515_11,00.html

Infographic Tells Why Vaccines Are So Important

Infographic: Pinterest.com/Cleveland Clinic
Infographic: Pinterest.com/Cleveland Clinic

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