What to Know about Vaccines

Find out how much you know about vaccines you and your family need.

1) True or false: Vaccinations do not cause autism.

A: True

B: False

Answer: A.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no link between vaccinations and autism. It’s important that children receive vaccines on schedule so the vaccines are effective and children don’t go unprotected from serious diseases. Getting your child vaccinated also protects at-risk children—those who are too young or unable to get vaccines—from contracting an illness from your child.

2) Which of the following age ranges need the flu vaccine?

A: 1- to 5-year-olds

B: 20- to 45-year-olds

C: Adults ages 65 and up

D: All of the above

Answer: D

Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season (which generally lasts October through May), according to the CDC. Even pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions should receive one.

3) What does the TDaP vaccine prevent?

A: Dermatitis

B: Dental diseases

C: Dengue fever

D: Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

Answer: D

This vaccine protects against three serious bacterial infections: diphtheria, a respiratory disease that makes it hard to breathe or swallow; tetanus, an infection that causes muscle stiffness; and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. To prevent these diseases, children need five doses of the DTaP vaccine before age 7. TDaP, a vaccine similar to DTaP, offers protection against the same illnesses in people ages 11 and older, according to the CDC. Anyone who is or will be around children younger than 12 months, including pregnant women, should make sure to stay up to date on the TDaP vaccine.

4) True or false: Vaccines give you the disease they protect you from.

A: True

B: False

Answer: B

If you don’t feel well after receiving a vaccine, you may be experiencing a side effect of the vaccine rather than the illness you received as a result of vaccination. Although vaccines do frequently contain weakened or dead germs, they don’t make you sick with the disease they protect against, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The vaccine’s ingredients prompt your immune system to make antibodies that protect you against a particular bacteria or virus, so you won’t get sick when you encounter live forms of those germs.

5) True or false: If you had chicken pox, you need the shingles vaccine.

A: True

B: False

Answer: A

The same virus that causes chicken pox, the varicella zoster virus, causes shingles, a disease that gives you a painful rash and blisters on your skin. According to the National Institutes of Health, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in people who had chicken pox, but it can reemerge as shingles years later. The CDC recommends two doses of a shingles vaccine (separated by two to six months) called Shingrix, which is effective for adults ages 50 and older.

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Sources:

healthychildren.org, cdc.govkidshealth.orgcdc.govvaccines.govimmunize.orgmedlineplus.gov, cdc.govcdc.gov, fda.gov, who.int