Children With Egg Allergies Cannot Receive The MMR Vaccine
The Myth: A child with allergy to eggs (this occurs in about 0.5% of the population) may develop severe allergic reactions to the MMR vaccine since the vaccine is propagated in eggs.
The Truth: The MMR Vaccine is propagated in chick embryo cells and not in eggs. The amount of egg protein found in MMR is not sufficient to cause severe allergic reactions even in children who are allergic to eggs. Thus, MMR can be safely administered in children with egg allergies.
The Risk From Vaccination Far Outweigh The Risk of Catching the Disease
The Myth: Since childhood diseases such as polio are currently so rare, the risk of side effects of vaccination are far greater than the risk of catching the disease. Thus, vaccinations should be stopped.
The Truth: One needs to understand the concept of “herd immunity”. For a vaccine to be effective in controlling communicable diseases, at least 80% of the whole population needs to be successfully vaccinated. Under these conditions will there then be too few susceptible individuals left, limiting the spread of natural infection. The incidence of disease will thus gradually get less and less until it reaches a very low level. When a high proportion of people are immunized, even those who have not been vaccinated also get some protection because the disease becomes so uncommon.
The MMR Vaccine Has Been Linked To Autism
The Myth: The possible link between MMR and autism was published by Wakefield and others in the Lancet in 1998.
The Truth: In response to these concerns about the MMR vaccine, the Chief Medical Officer in England asked the Medical Research Council to consider the available data regarding this possible link. The conclusion of the council was that there was no evidence of any link. In a 1999 study published in the Lancet, nearly 500 cases of children with autism born between 1979 and 1994 were studied. The study found that:
- there was non-increase in autism associated with the introduction of MMR in 1988
- there was no difference in age of diagnosis of autism between MMR immunized and unimmunized children
- there was no difference in MMR immunization rates between children with autism and the rest of the population
- there was no link between the timing of MMR and the onset of autism.
Multiple Vaccinations Affect The Immune System
The Myth: Whilst vaccinations have benefits, infants are getting more than is good for them, thus overwhelming their immune system.
The IOM’s Immunization Safety Committee reviewed 8 studies looking at the relationship between multiple vaccinations and Type I Diabetes Mellitus (chiefly an autoimmune disease). All the studies found that multiple immunizations had no effect on the incidence of Type I Diabetes. The IOM also looked at other studies and concluded that multiple vaccinations either had no effect on the risk of infection, or provided some protection against infection. On reviewing studies looking at multiple vaccinations and their potential to cause allergic diseases, the IOM concluded that there was inadequate evidence to accept or reject any causal relationship between multiple vaccinations and increased risk of allergic diseases.