Just over a century ago, the firstvaccines were developed. Their successhas been nothing short of phenomenal.
“No single physician can in his orher career hope to save more than afraction of the lives saved by a singlevaccine,” write Drs. Stanley Plotkinand Edward Mortimer. The twophysicians have spent much of theircareers researching and developingvaccines.
Vaccines have eradicated smallpoxand made deadly diseases such aspolio, chicken pox, diphtheria, measlesand pertussis (whooping cough) rarein the Western world. Millions uponmillions of lives have been savedaround the globe.
Despite this, persistent—andcontrary—information circulatesabout vaccines. Health Canada sayspeer-reviewed research using the bestscientific practices has found strongevidence that:• 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 causeautism. (A Lancet study publishedin 1998 linking autism and the MMRvaccine was retracted in 2010.)
• The hepatitis B vaccine does notcause multiple sclerosis (MS) orcause MS patients to relapse.
• The pertussis (whooping cough)
vaccine does not cause braindamage.
• Childhood vaccines do not increase
the risk of asthma.
• Vaccines do not cause sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS).
Some people have concerns aboutvaccines containing thimerosal (apreservative containing organicmercury), although currently inCanada, vaccines for children containno or only trace amounts of thimerosal.Recent scientific studies have notfound any link between thimersol andautism.
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 vaccinesare rare and are a far smaller risk thangetting the disease.
When you are regularly vaccinated,you protect your health, as well as thehealth of those around you.
If you are concerned about beingvaccinated, I urge you to talk to yourdoctor.
By following this advice, you canreduce your risk of infectious diseases,and hopefully help eliminate morediseases from the face of the earth.
It is your choice whether you act onthis advice. Choose well.
— Kamalesh GangopadhyayKamalesh Gangopadhyay is a retired doctor.