Like all medical treatments, vaccinations carry risks as well as benefits. But with scare stories abounding on social media, should you be concerned about possible side effects?
It should go without saying that vaccinations are a crucial part of staying healthy. Whether we’re talking about routine injections in childhood, or travel jabs before you go abroad, vaccinations can protect you against any number of potentially deadly diseases. Importantly, since you won’t be able to pass on those diseases, it also protects those around you.
Unfortunately, getting the facts right about vaccinations can mean sifting through a lot of misinformation. This year, the UK saw a sharp rise in cases of measles, which public health experts have linked to a drop in the number of children receiving the MMR jab (for measles, mumps and rubella).
They suggested the drop might be due, to a large extent, to ‘anti-vaxxer’ myths on discussion boards. One of these is the idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism. While this theory has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked, it continues to rear its head on social media.
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