Immunization myths and realities: responding to arguments against immunization

J Paediatr Child Health. 2003 Sep-Oct;39(7):487-91. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.t01-1-00200.x.


As vaccination programs continue to successfully control more and more infectious diseases, and the effects of these diseases become less visible, there has been increased focus on adverse events following immunization. Vaccines have been falsely implicated in the causation of a range of conditions, especially those which affect infants and young children, and whose aetiology is unknown, poorly understood or multifactorial. This paper explores some of the common immunization myths that clinicians may face. It is essential that health professionals have access to accurate information and are able to respond appropriately to parental concerns. This involves good communication; listening, empathy and tailoring advice to the specific concerns of the parent. Finally, health professionals need to provide consistent messages based on solid research evidence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / etiology
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology
  • Child
  • Databases as Topic
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Immunization / adverse effects*
  • Immunization / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / etiology
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Mercury Poisoning / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology
  • Thimerosal / adverse effects
  • United Kingdom
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
  • Thimerosal