If anything the recent pandemic has shown us that no disease is to be taken lightly and followed by the events and mindset of people, it is clear that most people are unaware of the vaccines. From being completely clueless to outright against it, people seem to be uninformed about the vaccines. Not just coronavirus vaccine but generally on how they work and what exactly they are. Let’s have an easier understanding of vaccines and how they behave in our bodies to provide us with resistance.
What are vaccines?
Vaccines are basically a tool by which we enable and train the immune system to fight against diseases. The way it works is that a small and weaker specimen resembling a dangerous disease-causing bacteria or virus is injected into our body. Then from there, our immune system responds by creating antibodies to fight it off and since it’s weaker, our bodies easily get rid of it, during this time fever is natural and predicted as higher temperatures kill the bacteria. But here’s the interesting part, the way we have evolved, our immune system remembers what sort of virus they fought against and what antibodies to deploy if we happen to come across a similar virus regardless of its lethality. So even when we get infected with a dangerous virus our bodies already know how to get rid of it.
Misconceptions about the vaccines
Even though vaccines were created to protect us in the long run some people seem to be having some doubts about it. Here are some of the misinformation about vaccines and their actual reality.
- Hygiene and nutrition cause fewer diseases: Well, it is true. The cleaner an environment is the less likely it is to contain harmful bacteria. Also, if a person’s nutrients intake is higher, they can develop a better functioning body. However, even after constant sanitization and healthy eating it only takes one infected person to visit these environments and spreading the disease. Even being in a healthy condition if our bodies are not vaccinated, our immune system would take days to fight off even a simple viral flu and it can cause serious damage during that time.
- Natural is better: Ultimately, it is our body whether it be with or without vaccines that know what antibodies to produce. People think that if one is to contract certain diseases naturally it’ll provide them with better and long-lasting immunity. Unfortunately, the risk of disease outweighs the process of vaccination. Sure our bodies can fight off smaller diseases but it will take weeks, plus it takes a serious toll on our bodies and we get weaker with every single battle against a new virus. Therefore, vaccines are a much safer alternative to this idea.
- Vaccinated still get sick: Some people claim that disease will still happen even after vaccination so they might as well stay unvaccinated. It is true as well, even once you are vaccinated you can still get sick. However, this is half the truth. Because, not all who are vaccinated get sick and once you are infected with a disease you have been vaccinated against, your immune system gets to work right away and knows exactly how to deal with that disease. To put this into perspective, let us assume 100 people caught a disease and out of which 90 are vaccinated. The 10 unvaccinated individuals will most certainly fall ill, meanwhile, only around 4-5 vaccinated people will get diseased. But the severity of the disease will vary greatly among these two groups as vaccinated ones will only suffer minor issues but the same can’t be said for unvaccinated people.
- Overloading the immune system: Another misconception that has been floating around is that multiple vaccines at once can overload the immune system, especially in small children. It is a genuine concern of parents as nobody wants to cause harm to their child. However, this is also a misconception. Granted the effects of vaccines will occur but nothing more than that will happen, additionally, vaccines are given in such proportions that our bodies can handle. Also, no scientific evidence has been discovered that states otherwise.
- It’s gone, so it won’t return: This is a misconception that only occurs once a disease is basically non-existence or occurs rarely in any given part of the world. In this situation, people assume that if the majority of people in a region haven’t encountered disease in a long time it is not going to return. But the opposite can happen and the disease can infect anyone who’s unvaccinated. For example, Polio is almost gone in India after countless measures against it, however, it can still happen in future generations if the vaccine isn’t provided to them.
As we can see all of the misconceptions have no scientific evidence, they are based around just observations and thinking of an average person. It is natural and even good to question everything, however, to base your decisions on vague understanding is never okay. It is vital that we continue to vaccinate ourselves and become aware of this topic.