Vaccine myths and misconceptions

JAAPA. 2014 Aug;27(8):21-5; quiz 26. doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000451873.94189.56.


Communicable diseases are on the rise worldwide. Some of the increase in prevalence of these nearly eradicated diseases is due to a decrease in vaccination rates. This decrease is primarily due to parental concerns over vaccine safety and the increasing rates of autism spectrum disorders. Medical providers must address the growing antivaccine movement and misconceptions about immunizations. Physician assistants are in a unique position to offer evidence-based medical advice and encourage immunizations in order to prevent disease outbreaks.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Physician Assistants
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / adverse effects
  • Therapeutic Misconception / psychology
  • Thimerosal / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Vaccines
  • Thimerosal