Horns will grow, autism or cancer will develop: the most popular myths-horror stories about vaccinations
When the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 began, the whole world was filled with myths about how it would affect humanity. But this was not only the case with this vaccine. Throughout their history, people were afraid of new things and came up with various fables about what vaccination can do to the human body and health. ForumDaily decided to collect the funniest and most common myths about vaccines, starting with the very first one - against smallpox.
The late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries were especially generous with discoveries in the field of medicine, writes MK.
British physician Jenner first came up with the idea of preventing human smallpox from contracting smallpox by vaccinating with vaccinia. Once an elderly peasant woman turned to him, frightened by skin rashes that appeared in her.
When asked if she was sick with smallpox, the poor woman said that she could not have this disease, since she had already had cowpox. This confidence amazed the scientist.
Although the protective properties of vaccinia were known long before Jenner, the idea was viewed in medical circles as an ignorant prejudice. Jenner decided to check all the facts related to rumors about the protective effect of vaccinia, and find out their scientific significance.
For 30 years, he studied the disease and became convinced that the vaccine, that is, the contents of the smallpox pustules of patients with vaccinia, reliably protects against smallpox and this form of artificial infection is a harmless and humane way to prevent a very serious illness such as smallpox.
In 1796, he vaccinated an eight-year-old boy with cowpox. After 6 weeks, he was vaccinated with smallpox, but he did not get it, as he became immune to smallpox.
And yet, for a long time, there was a skeptical attitude towards Jenner's method: some serious scientists even believed that after vaccination with cowpox, patients may grow horns, hooves or some other signs of the anatomical structure of a cow.
We can say that the anti-vaccine movement originated from here.
Vaccinations cause autism
With the advent of the Internet, theories that vaccinations cause various diseases have gained massive momentum, writes stavpb.
Now many parents are promoting the theory that vaccines cause autism in young children.
Yulia Barabanova, a medical psychologist and one of the trainers at the School of Autism at the Stavropol Psychiatric Hospital, says that not only parents of autistic children, but also some specialists associated with the correction of mental disorders in children, are infected with the idea that autism is caused by vaccinations. A young mother today can hear the story that “your child got autism because he was vaccinated” in the clinic, in the speech therapist's office, and in the kindergarten.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the mechanisms of childhood autism are still not fully understood. Now doctors are talking about genetic predisposition and organic brain disorders. Nevertheless, it is psychologically easier for parents of autistic children to associate the cause of the disease with some kind of external influence on the child.
And such a theory was born, no matter how strange it may sound, in scientific circles. In 1998, British physician Andrew Wakefield published the results of a study in a medical journal that allegedly proved a link between measles vaccination and childhood autism.
And at first glance everything looked pretty convincing, but no one knew that Wakefield had never received any awards or made scientific discoveries - until the publication of the publication. And then the situation changed. The young doctor began to be willingly invited to television, his photographs did not leave the covers of British tabloids. Wakefield instantly became a national star. It seemed that the cause of autism in children had finally been solved, which means that soon it would be possible to completely defeat this disease: it would be enough just to exclude the very harmful measles vaccine from circulation.
But, as it turned out later, in order to achieve the desired results during the study, he not only disregarded the rules of conducting research, but also pressured his parents to give the "correct" answers. The scientist was suspected of falsifying the results in order to become famous, but, as it turned out in practice, everything was much worse.
Several years before publication, he developed a rapid measles test in children with autism and was working on a "safe vaccination." So his so-called vaccination exposure was purely economic. He wanted to cash in on desperate parents and the distribution of his vaccine.
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Later, the companies changed the composition of the vaccine, excluding the "dangerous" ingredient from it - merthiolate (thiomersal). Although its harm to the body has not been proven. Now scientists are of the opinion that autism is a genetic disease, and no vaccinations can cause it.
Diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer's
Now on the Internet you can find many stories about how a child became disabled, and almost always, according to anti-vaccine users, doctors and vaccinations are to blame for this. This is how the myth spreads that various vaccinations can cause very terrible diseases, they write Arguments and Facts.
In addition, such theories are supported by many media and pseudo-medical sites. Therefore, when parents in despair are trying to find the cause of an illness in a child, a lot of information is dumped on them about what harmful vaccinations are and how children poison. And then the parents themselves carry this information further.
For example, Russian Sergei Shlensky is firmly convinced that the measles, rubella and mumps vaccine caused diabetes in his 6-year-old son. He says that shortly after the injection, his son became ill and was taken to the hospital. The man connects the serious condition of the child with nothing more than a vaccine, so he does not even consider other options. He conducted his own "Internet investigation" and found many "proofs" of his innocence.
He claims to have found claims that children develop cancer and even Alzheimer's with vaccinations. Of course, all this evidence was found on the Internet and on very dubious sites.
But in fact, vaccinations not only do not cause cancer, but also help prevent it. For example, vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is already included in the national calendars of several dozen countries. WHO recommends this vaccine as one of the measures for the fight against noncommunicable diseases around the world. In general, according to the WHO, about one in four cases of cancer in the world (in low- and middle-income countries) is associated with cancer-causing infections such as hepatitis and HPV, writes TASS.
Anyway, a vaccine cannot contain anything that can cause cancer. Typically, a drug for a particular virus includes that particular virus, but only weakened. For example, the measles vaccine contains the measles virus. And viruses that cause cancer are added only to those vaccines with which a person is immunized against these carcinogenic viruses, writes VOX Ukraine.
In addition, live weakened or dead viruses (or generally only their particles) are added to vaccines, so they cannot provoke a disease. The vaccine helps the body develop immunity by mimicking the disease. It causes the immune system to produce antibodies and T-lymphocytes to the pathogen, but the person is not sick.
Vaccines cause autoimmune diseases
When the cells of the immune system start attacking their own body, it is called an "autoimmune disease." The risk of developing autoimmune diseases associated with vaccinations is still theoretical - there is still no evidence to support the link. Although the role of vaccines in the occurrence and development of autoimmune diseases has been discussed for a long time.
Therefore, at the moment, experts believe that the choice between the proven efficacy of vaccines and the theoretical risk of developing autoimmune diseases should not be. Clinical studies that compared incidence in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups of people did not show an increase in autoimmune diseases in those who were previously vaccinated.
A few more myths that people believe in
Natural immunity is stronger than that which occurs during vaccination, therefore it is better to take the child to the "smallpox party" and "to visit rubella"
This is not so: someone will be lucky and he will suffer a mild illness, someone in a severe one, and someone may have serious complications. The experts noted that it is impossible to predict this, this is a dangerous way to gain immunity from infection.
“In a number of cases, infections are very difficult, and they are the main reason for the disability of children,” explained epidemiologist Nikolai Briko. - Therefore, in no way would I advise parents to do this with their children. Vaccination builds protective immunity in a much safer way. The frequency of complications and deaths when a child is infected with a “wild” variant of the pathogen is not comparable with post-vaccination complications. ”
You need to be vaccinated only against dangerous diseases
According to Briko, it is necessary to get vaccines against all infections that are indicated in the national calendar of preventive vaccinations, and when planning trips abroad, get vaccinated against infections registered in the country where you are going.
If all children in school or kindergarten are vaccinated, but my child is not, then nothing terrible will happen, we are protected
“This is a very dangerous position,” Nikolai Briko is convinced. - If coverage decreases, then the risk increases that the infection will spread rapidly in the community. Parents think about possible complications, which are extremely rare, but do not think about the very real danger of contracting an infection, the causative agent of which circulates among the population or may be introduced from other territories. "
In the end, no one guarantees 100% that, for example, in an airplane, where a closed ventilation system, there will not be a person with chickenpox, flu, rubella or measles.
It is not necessary to be vaccinated against those diseases that do not exist now.
Epidemiologist Bricaud is convinced that vaccines have in some way become hostages of their success: today there are no epidemics that occurred before the invention of vaccines. But even now there remains a danger that the pathogen can be brought in from other territories where diseases are common or where the probability of getting sick remains.
An example from modern reality: the incidence of measles in Europe, which increased in 2017 and continued to rise in 2018. Briko recalled how in 2009 in Tajikistan, against the background of serious defects in the organization of immunization against poliomyelitis, an epidemic arose caused by a "wild" virus brought in from India. “We stopped vaccination against smallpox, for example, only when the world was convinced that there was no smallpox virus in nature,” Bricaud said.
Not without various myths and conspiracy theories this time too. Some argue that the vaccine will change a person's DNA, as it the first vaccine developed on the basis of mRNA. DOthers are convinced that billionaire Bill Gates wants to chip everyone and render them sterile.
There is no evidence to support these assumptions. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has firmly denied the allegations.
Despite the lack of evidence, a YouGov poll of 1640 people found that 28% of Americans believe in microchip theory. Among Republicans, this figure was 44%.
A photo of Bill Gates was spread on social networks with the caption “It's simple, we change your DNA with a vaccine, implant a chip, make society cashless, and put all your money in a tiny microchip. Then you will do what we tell you, otherwise we will turn off your chip and you will starve to death until you become obedient. ”
Read more about the myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine in our material.
What are people so afraid of in vaccines against COVID-19
According to surveys, people are most afraid of side effects and the fact that vaccines were developed too quickly (about 50% of those surveyed). And about 22% are afraid that these drugs will be stored incorrectly and, accordingly, they will deteriorate, as well as that they will be injected with a chip along with the vaccination (10%), reports Radio Liberty.
Some people refuse to get vaccinated because they consider it all a commercial scheme and pumping out money (16,5%), and another 7% say that the cost of the vaccine is too high for them.
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