Just over a century ago, the first
vaccines were developed. Their success
has been nothing short of phenomenal.
“No single physician can in his or
her career hope to save more than a
fraction of the lives saved by a single
vaccine,” write Drs. Stanley Plotkin
and Edward Mortimer. The two
physicians have spent much of their
careers researching and developing
Vaccines have eradicated smallpox
and made deadly diseases such as
polio, chicken pox, diphtheria, measles
and pertussis (whooping cough) rare
in the Western world. Millions upon
millions of lives have been saved
around the globe.
Despite this, persistent—and
about vaccines. Health Canada says
peer-reviewed research using the best
scientific practices has found strong
• The MMR (measles, mumps and
Be vaccinated. Be protected
Immunization protects your health, as well as the health of those around you
rubella) vaccine does not cause
autism. (A Lancet study published
in 1998 linking autism and the MMR
vaccine was retracted in 2010.)
• The hepatitis B vaccine does not
cause multiple sclerosis (MS) or
cause MS patients to relapse.
• The pertussis (whooping cough)
vaccine does not cause brain
• Childhood vaccines do not increase
the risk of asthma.
• Vaccines do not cause sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS).
Some people have concerns about
vaccines containing thimerosal (a
preservative containing organic
mercury), although currently in
Canada, vaccines for children contain
no or only trace amounts of thimerosal.
Recent scientific studies have not
found any link between thimersol and
Human papilloma virus (HPV)
vaccine prevents about 70 per cent of
cervical cancers. HPV is a common
infection passed through sexual
contact. Recent research published in
the journal Pediatrics found girls who
receive the HPV vaccine do not become
more sexually active.
Serious side effects from vaccines
are rare and are a far smaller risk than
getting the disease.
When you are regularly vaccinated,
you protect your health, as well as the
health of those around you.
If you are concerned about being
vaccinated, I urge you to talk to your
By following this advice, you can
reduce your risk of infectious diseases,
and hopefully help eliminate more
diseases from the face of the earth.
It is your choice whether you act on
this advice. Choose well.
— Kamalesh Gangopadhyay
Kamalesh Gangopadhyay is a retired doctor.