MYTH AND REALITY

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Efforts to eradicate polio ... came off track in Nigeria due to a 2004 rumor that the vaccine “contained birth control drugs as part of a secret western plot to reduce population growth in the Muslim world.” Polio is on the rise again in Nigeria, and more than 100 children have been left paralyzed by the disease this year.
—Smithsonian Institution

Misinformation fuels our fears

In addition to concern about the normal, mild side-effects of vaccines, some parents worry that vaccines themselves can be dangerous. You may have heard that:

• vaccines contain “toxins”
• there are "too many" vaccines
• some combinations of vaccines may be harmful
• ingredients such as aluminum and thimerosal are dangerous

None of this is true.

Vaccines do not cause disease

Some have even claimed, without any evidence, that vaccines may actually cause diseases such as autism, attention deficit disorder, developmental delay, diabetes, hyperactivity, multiple sclerosis, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

There is no credible evidence that any of this is true.

Numerous studies have shown the safety of vaccines. (The one study which tried to link vaccination to autism was later disproven and retracted.)