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Immunization FAQs

Will getting several immunizations at once overwhelm my child’s immune system?

Infants and children are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis (examples: new foods, putting hands in mouth, etc.), all of which are common antigens to which their immune system must and does respond. A common cold exposes a child to 4-10 antigens per episode, and a case of strep to 25-50. In contrast, most vaccines expose a child to 1-10 antigens.

Can my child get sick from the vaccinations?

Two different types of vaccinations are available: “live” or “killed”. Live virus vaccines (e .g. MMR, Varicella) are weakened or partial strains of the virus which stimulate the immune system enough to develop protective antibodies but not enough to cause infection. Side effects of these vaccines may include rash and fever. Killed vaccines (all others) cannot transmit any infection but may cause transient fever and irritability.

Will mercury (thimerosal) in the vaccines cause my child to develop autism?

Thimerosal is a mercury based preservative that has been used in vaccines since the 1930s. Since 2001, thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines that are given to infants. Multiple studies have shown conclusively that thimerosal has no causal relationship to the development of autism. There has been no decrease in cases of autism since thimerosal was removed from vaccines nearly ten years ago.

Will the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine cause my child to develop autism?

Numerous scientific studies have shown that there is no link at all between the MMR vaccine and autism . The original British study which attempted to prove a cause and effect relationship has been retracted by nine of the ten authors. There is also no scientific evidence that separating the vaccine into three individual vaccinations has any benefit. What studies have shown is that when MMR vaccination has been suspended in countries outside the US, the incidence of measles, encephalitis and death increases dramatically.