When the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out, many individuals lined up for hours to take their turn to receive the shot. However, there were many others who, for various reasons, decided to hold off on getting the shot. One of the main reasons for hesitancy was based on the vaccine's relative newness compared with our annual flu immunizations, which have become routine for many of us. The recent pandemic placed vaccine hesitancy under the microscope, but it's been around much longer than the new COVID vaccines. It's a complicated matter for some folks out there.
Since August is National Immunization Awareness Month, there's no better time to look at why some people grapple with hesitancy on what to do regarding any number of immunizations.
What is Vaccine Hesitancy?
Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal to receive widely available vaccines or a delay in acceptance, even when services are readily available. The term encompasses those who refuse to accept an immunization, some who delay getting one, or even those who are willing to receive some vaccines but not others. This also includes people who take the vaccine but still question its use. Unfortunately, vaccine hesitancy can cause disease outbreaks and severe health concerns within the population.
This is a significant enough threat that the World Health Organization considers vaccine hesitancy one of the world's top ten health threats. Pharmacists working in a pharmacy in Powell, TN, along with other pharmacies throughout the US, often focus on educating customers to help alleviate the misconceptions and fears surrounding immunizations.
Why Are People Hesitant?
Vaccine hesitancy is not a black-and-white issue, and there's no simple solution to addressing all fears, beliefs, and misconceptions. And some who avoid immunizations hold deep-rooted beliefs or fears that prevent them from visiting a pharmacy in Powell, TN, to receive a shot. No single reason can explain why a person or even a small group of the population avoids immunizations. It's a complex web or intertwining factors -
- Suspicions or confusion
- Religious beliefs
- Complacency that a person will not fall victim to a disease
- Media coverage and misconceptions from self-publishing sources
The problem is when coverage with immunizations isn't broad enough, they fail. It does no good for a few people out of an entire group to roll up their sleeves at a pharmacy in Powell, TN… the masses need to be on board for these vaccines to be effective.
Breaking Some Myths
One way to combat vaccine hesitancy is to debunk the myths that fuel fears and uncertainty. There's no silver bullet to alleviate this problem, and since the matter is complicated, no one light bulb moment will drive everyone to hop in their car to catch up on shots at a pharmacy in Powell, TN. What can be done is to look at some of the myths and break them to understand the truth about immunizations.
- Myth: Vaccines cause autism. There have been over 20 studies all debunking the notion that vaccines cause autism.
- Vaccines contain harmful chemicals. Toxins in question include mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde. No vaccine has ever contained methyl mercury (a dangerous toxin). Before 2001, some vaccines contained a component of ethyl mercury, which is very different than methyl mercury. As for aluminum, babies consume more aluminum in breast milk than they receive in any immunization. As for formaldehyde, an infant's body naturally contains 10x the amount of formaldehyde found in any vaccine.
- Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu. Talk to any pharmacist at a pharmacy in Powell, TN, and they'll tell you the same thing – the virus in the shot is dead. It may trigger a brief immune response but cannot give you the flu.
- Myth: Vaccines overwhelm babies' bodies. Today's children receive fewer challenges to their immune systems with vaccines than their parents did just a generation ago. The number of shots may be higher, but the load of germ particles received is now lower.
- Myth: It's a good idea to space out shots. If you're trying to spare your child distress of an assault of multiple shots in one day, it's actually better just to let it happen in one swoop. After the first jab and rush of tears, kids' stress hormones lower, and they tolerate subsequent shots better in one sitting. Additionally, postponing shots can leave a child at risk.
At Vaughn Pharmacy, your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, we want you to be educated on vaccines to make informed decisions for yourself and your family. The benefits of the population keeping up with their recommended vaccines serves everyone and provides protection so future generations can pave the path for an even healthier future.
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!