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5 facts on vaccines

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about vaccines. Question what you read and hear – and understand the facts.

Vaccines are safe and effective

Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested before it is approved for use, regularly reassessed and constantly monitored for side effects. In the rare event a serious side effect is reported, it is immediately investigated

Vaccines prevent deadly illnesses

Vaccination protects children from diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough). Failure to vaccinate leaves children and adults vulnerable to diseases, complications or even death.

Vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections

The immune response to vaccines is similar to the one produced by natural infection but less risky. For example: natural infection can lead to cognitive impairments from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), birth defects from congenital rubella infection or irreversible paralysis from polio.

Combined vaccines are safe and beneficial

Giving several vaccines at the same time has no negative effect on a child’s immune system; reduces discomfort for the child; and saves time and money. Children are exposed to more antigens from a common cold than they are from vaccines.

If we stop vaccination, diseases will return

Even with better hygiene, sanitation and access to safe water, infections still spread. When people are not vaccinated, infectious diseases that have become uncommon – diphtheria, measles, mumps and polio – quickly reappear.

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