National Vaccination Day 2021: Experts Debunk Some Common Myths About Immunisation

National Vaccination Day 2021: Experts Debunk Some Common Myths About Immunisation

While the doctors and researchers consider vaccines as one of the most efficient public health interventions, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about vaccines and their effects
News, Swasth India
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National Vaccination Day 2021: Experts Debunk Some Common Myths About Immunisation“Adults do not need to get vaccines”, experts bust this and other myths around vaccines on this National Vaccination Day
Highlights
  • Misconceptions around immunisation give rise to vaccine hesitancy: Experts
  • Immunisation safeguards a child from life-threatening diseases: WHO
  • Immunisation is the world’s most successful health intervention: Experts

New Delhi: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), immunisation or vaccination shields a person from life-threatening diseases such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria and lowers the risk of spreading diseases to others. While talking about vaccines, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President, Confederation Of Medical Associations In Asia And Oceania, said that vaccines trigger the body’s own immune system to act and safeguard the individual against the subsequent infections. Dr Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical added that when done in a timely manner, immunisation can serve as one of the most efficient and cost-effective health interventions worldwide. He said that about 2-3 million deaths can be prevented every year globally with proper immunisation. However, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around immunisation which sets in ‘vaccine hesitancy’ or delaying/refusing to get or let their children get vaccinated. On this National Vaccination Day, which is celebrated every year on March 16 to raise awareness among people about the importance of getting timely vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, experts debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions around immunisation.

Also Read: Universal Coverage Or Immunisation For All Is Still A Long Wait

Myth: Vaccines can cause severe side-effects like autism in children and even death

Fact: This is one of the most common myths around vaccines among a lot of people, said Dr. Sehgal. He added that autism has been falsely linked with the vaccine for MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and a number of studies have been undertaken that have proved that there is no association between immunisation and autism which is caused due to multiple factors. He said that such rumours get wind because in most cases, children are diagnosed with autism around the same time as their immunisation schedule. He further asserted that vaccinations do not cause any fatal disease or death.

According to Dr. Aggarwal, side-effects of vaccines are rare and mild that include fever or slight pain in the area where the vaccine was administered but these wane away soon. He added that in a few cases, children may develop symptoms like seizures but such side-effects are extremely rare and are carefully monitored by the doctors.

The experts assured that vaccines are rigorously tested and adhere to strict standards before they are put out in the markets.

Myth: Multiple vaccines increase the risk of side-effects

Fact: Dr. Sehgal said that getting multiple vaccines at one time is safe and effective and does not cause any side-effect. He said that in case of babies, it is better to opt for multiple vaccines instead of spacing out vaccines over a longer period of time. This is so that the child does not get exposed to a life-threatening virus in the meantime because an infant comes in contact with countless organisms every day. He said that parents must follow the vaccine schedule prepared by the paediatrician and should not delay immunisation.

Also Read: Opinion: How Crucial Are Vaccines For Preventable Diseases?

Myth: One can shield oneself from infections by maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation and so vaccines are not really required

Fact: The experts said that while maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation will ensure a better standard of life and reduce the risk of infection, it will not protect against such infectious diseases that can spread despite cleanliness and good living conditions. Dr. Sehgal said that delaying or denying vaccination will make people vulnerable to a number of infections.

Myth: It is better to get immunity by acquiring the infection naturally as compared to vaccination

Fact: Vaccines trigger the immune response in the body in a similar way to the response produced by natural infection, without putting the health and life of the individual at risk, said Dr. Aggarwal. He said that the price paid for the immunity through natural infection is much higher. While explaining further he said,

Take, for example, a pregnant woman who has not been vaccinated for Rubella. If we let her get immune to the virus the natural way, the damage can be as high as birth defects from congenital rubella or even death. We cannot let this happen and so we have to give her shot and prepare her immune system to respond to an attack from such a virus.

Myths: Administering vaccines during pregnancy may harm mother/child/both

Fact: Dr. Sehgal asserted that immunisation is a part of preventive medical care and is important for pregnant women to protect the health and life of both – woman and baby. He asserted that flu shots are extremely important for pregnant women as catching flu during pregnancy can lead to serious pregnancy complications like preterm labour and preterm birth. This is because the changes in the body functions during pregnancy make women more likely to fall seriously ill from the flu.

Also Read: A Modern Technique, eVIN, Ensured Essential Immunisation Services: Healthy Ministry

Myth: A baby being breastfed is protected from infections and does not need to be vaccinated

Fact: According to the experts, while breastfeeding provides some protection against certain infections like viral respiratory infections, diarrhoea among others, this protection is incomplete. Dr. Aggarwal said that breastfeeding is not a substitute for vaccination against a host of viruses that a child gets exposed to every day.

Myths: Adults do not need to get vaccines

Fact: Vaccines are helpful at all stages of life- right from infancy to childhood to adult life and old age, said Dr. Sehgal. He added,

Adult vaccination is not much common in India but it really needs to become a part of our public healthcare system as the adults too need protection from various deadly diseases like human papillomavirus vaccine, hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal among others. Our senior citizens who are very susceptible to pneumonia and must be given the pneumococcal vaccine. Rubella vaccination is given to females who are of reproductive age group. The human papillomavirus vaccine is given to prevent cervical cancer in women. Then there are also travel immunisation which people should take while travelling to other countries. Like Indian citizens travelling to Africa should take the yellow fever vaccine. Similarly, vaccination against disease like typhoid, tuberculosis can be taken while travelling to European countries.

Also Read: Immunisation Is A Critical Interventions For Saving Children’s Lives, Says Expert

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,59,54,708Cases
5,81,66,715Active
11,39,84,189Recovered
38,03,804Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,59,54,708 and 38,03,804 have died; 5,81,66,715 are active cases and 11,39,84,189 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 3:36 am.

India

2,95,10,410 70,421Cases
9,73,15853,001Active
2,81,62,947 1,19,501Recovered
3,74,305 3,921Deaths
In India, there are 2,95,10,410 confirmed cases including 3,74,305 deaths. The number of active cases is 9,73,158 and 2,81,62,947 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,08,992 10,442

1,58,617 167

56,39,271 7,504

1,11,104 2,771

Karnataka

27,65,134 7,810

1,80,856 10,961

25,51,365 18,646

32,913 125

Kerala

27,28,239 11,584

1,23,433 6,478

25,93,625 17,856

11,181 206

Tamil Nadu

23,53,721 14,016

1,49,927 12,146

21,74,247 25,895

29,547 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,09,844 6,770

85,637 5,780

17,12,267 12,492

11,940 58

Uttar Pradesh

17,02,624 452

8,986 820

16,71,852 1,221

21,786 51

West Bengal

14,61,257 3,984

17,651 1,403

14,26,710 2,497

16,896 84

Delhi

14,31,139 255

3,466 144

14,02,850 376

24,823 23

Chhattisgarh

9,86,963 459

13,677 1,405

9,59,969 1,858

13,317 6

Rajasthan

9,49,684 308

7,441 959

9,33,421 1,260

8,822 7

Odisha

8,51,782 4,469

51,681 3,309

7,96,799 7,733

3,302 45

Gujarat

8,20,321 455

10,249 614

8,00,075 1,063

9,997 6

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,183 274

4,251 524

7,75,380 780

8,552 18

Haryana

7,65,861 339

4,661 525

7,52,208 821

8,992 43

Bihar

7,17,215 487

5,312 389

7,02,411 868

9,492 8

Telangana

6,03,369 1,280

21,137 996

5,78,748 2,261

3,484 15

Punjab

5,87,903 956

12,981 1,083

5,59,360 1,980

15,562 59

Assam

4,59,497 2,167

41,373 3,272

4,14,173 5,403

3,951 36

Jharkhand

3,43,458 154

3,395 571

3,34,979 723

5,084 2

Uttarakhand

3,36,879 263

4,633 388

3,25,311 644

6,935 7

Jammu And Kashmir

3,07,412 774

15,081 1,203

2,88,145 1,965

4,186 12

Himachal Pradesh

1,98,550 237

4,777 625

1,90,382 855

3,391 7

Goa

1,62,468 420

4,882 175

1,54,658 581

2,928 14

Puducherry

1,12,528 402

5,331 414

1,05,513 809

1,684 7

Chandigarh

61,110 54

520 20

59,798 71

792 3

Manipur

59,852 530

8,499 211

50,379 726

974 15

Tripura

59,321 235

5,170 382

53,531 610

620 7

Meghalaya

41,906 305

4,623 248

36,550 547

733 6

Arunachal Pradesh

31,282 134

2,885 302

28,252 434

145 2

Nagaland

23,644 82

3,502 131

19,689 208

453 5

Ladakh

19,561 17

658 88

18,706 105

197

Sikkim

18,414 157

3,553 230

14,580 387

281

Mizoram

15,364 97

3,549 111

11,748 203

67 5

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,463 1

78 17

10,381 18

4

Lakshadweep

9,209 34

576 39

8,589 72

44 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,261 18

110 11

7,025 29

126

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