3 Myths About Vaccines Debunked (VIDEO)

brave after shotsNo matter how many times vaccine myths have been debunked, many parents still don't feel like they're 100 percent safe for their kids. We're still wondering what's in them, whether kids get too many, and whether we even still need them at all.

You're always smart to ask your doctor lots of questions. But I feel like when it  comes to vaccines, we ask a lot of the same questions -- and they've been answered over and over again. Take these three vaccine myths debunked by Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus and father of a young son. He did his homework and came to the conclusion: Not only are vaccines safe, they're also necessary.

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I've heard our pediatrician say the exact same things. I asked her about that preservative derived from mercury -- it's called thimerosal, and it's been phased out. My pediatrician is skeptical that it does any harm, anyway. She says it's in a form that the body doesn't metabolize (it's the mercury in our environment that we should be worried about, she thinks). And she should know; her husband is a biology professor who specializes in public health and vaccines.

Too many vaccines too soon? Ask any parent who's held a screaming baby in their lap while they get vaccinated -- oh yeah. I definitely feel that. But at least the vaccinations are more precisely calibrated now.

As for whether we still need to vaccinate with these diseases -- I think we do! There was a pertussis outbreak the winter of 2010-2011 guess where? Right here in the U.S., in Ohio. There's also "herd immunity," where a whole population is safer from diseases when almost everyone gets vaccinated. I think that can cause a false sense of security. No one gets sick, and we start thinking that these diseases are gone. But they're not -- and herd immunity only works when most of us participate.

What do you think? Does Seth Mnookin convincingly debunk the three myths, or do you still have doubts?


Image via Micah Sittig/Flickr

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