Singapore Government

Health Promotion Board

National Immunisation Registry

FAQ

FAQ - Myths
1 Myth : Giving a child more than one vaccine at a time increases the risk of harmful side effects and can overload the immune system.
2 Myth : Vaccination is no longer necessary because most diseases have been eliminated by better hygiene and sanitation.
3 Myth : Vaccine-preventable diseases have been virtually eliminated, so there is no need for my child to be vaccinated.
4 Myth : Vaccines cause many harmful side effects, and even death and may cause long-term effects.
   
1. Myth : Giving a child more than one vaccine at a time increases the risk of harmful side effects and can overload the immune system.
  Studies have been conducted to examine the effects of giving various combinations of vaccines simultaneously, and it has been shown that the recommended vaccines are as effective in combination as they are individually, and that such combinations carry no greater risk for adverse side effects.

Two practical factors favor giving a child several vaccinations during the same visit. First, immunising children as early as possible provides protection during the vulnerable early months of life.

Second, giving several vaccinations at the same time will mean fewer office visits for vaccinations, which saves parents both time and money and may be less traumatic for the child.
 
2. Myth : Vaccination is no longer necessary because most diseases have been eliminated by better hygiene and sanitation.
  Improved socioeconomic conditions have undoubtedly had an indirect impact on disease.

Better nutrition, the development of antibiotics and other treatments, have increased survival rates among the sick; less crowded living conditions have reduced disease transmission; and lower birth rates have decreased the number of susceptible household contacts.

However, vaccinations have been proven to have a significant impact on disease control. Without vaccination, individuals remain susceptible to the infectious agents causing these diseases.
 
3. Myth : Vaccine-preventable diseases have been virtually eliminated, so there is no need for my child to be vaccinated.
  It's true that vaccination has enabled us to reduce most vaccine-preventable diseases to very low levels in Singapore. However, some of them are still quite common in other parts of the world.

Travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into Singapore, and if we were not protected by vaccinations these diseases could quickly spread throughout the population, causing epidemics here.

We should be vaccinated, then, for two reasons. The first is to protect ourselves. Even if we think our chances of getting any of these diseases are small, the diseases still exist and can still infect anyone who is not protected.

The second reason to get vaccinated is to protect those around us. There is a small number of people who cannot be vaccinated (for reasons such as severe allergies to vaccine components), and a small percentage of people don't respond to vaccines. These people are susceptible to disease, and their only hope of protection is that people around them are immune and cannot pass disease along to them.

A successful vaccination program, like a successful society, depends on the cooperation of every individual to ensure the good of all.
 
4. Myth : Vaccines cause many harmful side effects, and even death and may cause long-term effects.
  Most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. These can often be controlled by taking panadol before or after vaccination. More serious adverse events occur rarely.

The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the slight risk. A child is far more likely to be seriously injured by one of these diseases than by any vaccine.