Myths and facts about the ‘harmful’ effects of vaccines

A host of the new generation parents get their knowledge of vaccination from their pediatrician and through the websites of WHO and the Ministry of Health. When my son was born four-and-a-half years ago, we decided to be actively involved in understanding the need for vaccination, following the vaccination schedule, and staying updated about preservative-free vaccines.  Having a Doctor spouse made these choices spontaneous and the same was encouraged by the pediatrician.

Yet, a section of elderly relatives, friends, and acquaintances warned us about the adverse effects of vaccination in infants. It was shocking to hear that seizures or other life-threatening diseases could be an after-effect of vaccination. While my husband confronted the claims with his background in medical education, I decided to read-up on the harmful effects of vaccination before meeting the pediatrician for a detailed session.

The most common side-effects of vaccination could lead to soreness, swelling, mild fever, rashes, and pain which generally persist for a couple of days only. Yet, I stumbled upon reports that suggested autism as a side effect of vaccination. Thimerosal, a mercury-based compound, found in preservatives, was blamed for the increase in autism in children. But those claims were refuted because no substantial evidence could link the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism or even the hepatitis B vaccine to multiple sclerosis.

During our conversation with the pediatrician, it was an awful revelation for me to know that newborn babies suffered from the risk of life-threatening diseases like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Their congenital conditions could also be detected during this stage. This meant that they already had a high risk of facing an untoward medical condition. But at times, the proximity of a vaccination schedule in a similar time frame leads to incorrect reasoning as the cause of the event.

He mentioned that the chances of serious side-effects like a seizure or life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. Statistics show that if 1 million doses of a vaccine are given, only 1 to 2 people may have a severe allergic reaction.

When a person encounters a pathogen, it is difficult to predict whether the reaction inside the body would be mild or severe. But vaccines are pre-tested to ensure that the response to these weakened or dead pathogens leads to the development of immunity in the body without harmful side-effects.

Other than physicians being the primary source of vaccination information, the availability of the immunization information system (IIS) from the healthcare provider also describes the common and rare side effects of a vaccine. At times, the vaccine manufacturers also provide some of these details through package inserts.

In India, pharmacovigilance of vaccines is highly important to promote the safe use of vaccines. India launched the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) surveillance program in 1986 for monitoring suspected adverse events following immunization.

Considering the times that we live in, failure to immunize a child carries a higher risk of leaving them exposed to potential diseases.

Our doubts and concerns were put to rest by the in-depth QnA session with the pediatrician. Ever since we have strictly adhered to the vaccination chart and ensured that we don’t compromise with the healthy future of our son. We trust vaccines for the development of his immunity towards diseases.

However, our responsibility doesn’t end there. It is imperative to understand the need to spread this knowledge and correct information about the importance and safety of vaccination. Only by creating awareness in the society, we can hope for the holistic development of our future generation.

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding, and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now. 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

References –

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-side-effects-and-adverse-events

https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/safety/side_effects

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/1201/p2113.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-vaccines-are-dangerous/

http://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2019/51/4/243/266824

My thoughts on A2Z Challenge 2020

When I signed up for the A2Z Challenge in 2020, life was chaotic and turbulent. With the Covid-19 pandemic engulfing our lives, it wasn’t easy being a doctor’s wife. When my husband was away on the emergency duty, it was difficult to balance the role of a mother to a 4.6-year-old, take care of my aging in-laws at home and continue working on my MFA creating writing assignments. By registering for the challenge, I was taking up the humongous tasks of writing and reading multiple posts daily on myself. Yet, the thrill of participating for the third time outweighed all the hurdles. I promised myself that the day the challenge became overwhelming, I would quit at that moment. It took away a lot of unnecessary pressure and let me write with ease.

In 2018, I wrote non-fiction posts on various aspects of my home state, West Bengal under the theme of ‘A dollop of Bengal.’

In 2019, I shared my real-life experiences related to the process of school admissions for my then 3.5-year-old son, Tuneer under the theme ‘Sagas of surviving a toddler’s school admission procedures.

In 2020, I thought of bringing some relief to the anxiety and stress around us by speaking about Indian stand-up comedians and comedy channels on YouTube under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’

My posts were about a bunch of versatile and talented performers who use humor to spread happiness, social awareness, make political satires, draw comedy sketches, and much more. At the end of each post, I added a link to one of my favorite videos by the artist to ensure that anyone who read my post left the page with a smile on their face. And while I was drafting these pieces and watching these videos before choosing one for my posts, my stress reduced because of my daily dose of laughter.

Amidst household chores, playing the role of a caregiver, and juggling weekly assignments, I finished publishing 26 posts on schedule for the third time in a row. I read 25-30 posts on a daily average and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with my fellow bloggers. I must admit that it is writing that kept me going through a difficult month.

Heartfelt gratitude to the team of International A2Z challenge, Blogchatter, and my fellow writers for being a part of my April journey this year. I hope to return next year with a new theme and renewed energy.

Z for Zakir Khan

There couldn’t have been a better way to end this series than speaking about the king of stand-up comedy, Zakir Khan. The comedian who has immortalized the punchline ‘sakth launda’ makes humor look effortless. The content of his videos on his YouTube channel makes it fairly clear as to why he receives a standing ovation from the audience after almost every show. This writer, stand-up comedian, poet, and actor is a versatile genius. He has a unique way of delivering his jokes that are high in humor but aren’t entirely devoid of profanity. However, it is his voice modulation that makes them sound ridiculously funny.

Zakir Khan - Source Insider.in
Zakir Khan – Source: Insider.in

Zakir is one of the first few artists with a huge number of shows on Amazon Prime. He is seen performing in two highly popular stand-up specials ‘Haq Se Single’ and ‘Kaksha Gyarvi’. He has also written and acted in a web series called ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare’ along with Kumar Varun. He was one of the judges in Comicstaan Season 2 and very recently, he was also invited to be a part of the show ‘One Mic Stand’ as a mentor.

There is also a sensitive and philosophical side of this multi-talented performer that manifests itself through occasional videos of him performing ‘shayari’ on his YouTube channel. It is also a delight to listen to him discussing the journey of life through the podcast of his show ‘Ummeed’ on Gaana.

This is the last post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge, 2020 based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Thank you for being a part of my April journey this year.

All the posts in this series are available here. As I say bid goodbye to this season of A2Z challenge, I leave you with this cracker of a video that is surely going to make you roll with laughter. Stay safe and take care.

Y for Sla(YY) Point

Two youngsters in their early twenties, Abhyudaya Mohan and Gautami Kawale are the brains behind one of India’s freshest, finest and funniest channels on YouTube, Slayy Point. These millennials cover topics relevant to the younger generation layered with ample doses of humor. They have a unique style of using social commentary while roasting cringeworthy content. At times, they also put up videos like ‘Getting Trolled By Subscribers’ using self-deprecating humor. The light-hearted comedy balanced with their priceless expressions makes their videos a delight to watch. Most of their content is found in the trending section of YouTube after release.

Abhyuday and Gautami from Slayy Point- Source socialsamosa
Abhyudaya and Gautami from Slayy Point- Source: socialsamosa

They have hosted YouTube fanfest Red Carpet 2019. They have also collaborated with Bollywood celebrities like Rajkummar Rao and cricketers like DJ Bravo as part of their interview series and YouTubers like Captain Nick and Flying Beast for their videos. These talented creators were recently invited for interaction by the YouTube global office in the US.  The duo took a step further and uploaded a few ridiculously funny travel vlogs covering their journey and experiences in the states.

This is the twenty-fifth post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the stand-up comedian getting featured in my last post for Z tomorrow.

You can read all the posts in this series here. It was quite difficult to pick up a single video for today’s post because most of them are pure gold. I hope that this one makes you laugh out loud.

X for Anisha Di(X)it

After Captain Nick and Mostly Sane, the next lady YouTuber spreading laughter and awareness related to issues/taboos that women face through her videos is Anisha Dixit. Anisha is more popularly known as Rickshawali though recently, she has re-branded her YouTube channel to her name. Born in Germany, this Mumbai-based witty content-creator is famous for creating a handful of characters in her comedy sketch videos. Dadi is one of the most loved characters though it is Anisha playing all the roles in different get-ups in her comedy v/s videos. She has immortalized the words ‘Hai Daiyya’ through her unique way of delivering the phrase.

Anisha Dixit - Source: India Web Fest
Anisha Dixit – Source: India Web Fest

Anisha has collaborated with famous Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra, Karthik Aryan, Sara Ali Khan, Rajkummar Rao and well-known YouTubers like  Lily Singh, Technical Guruji,  Mumbiker Nikhil, Captain Nick among many others. She also uploads funny videos of prank calls to her Youtube colleagues and Bollywood stars.  She addresses her followers as ‘rickstars’ who feel delighted by her amusing and entertaining content. But it also worth mentioning that she has faced quite a lot of struggles in life before reaching the zenith of success today. That’s why her straight-talk videos speaking about the journey of her life make her comes across as an honest and straight-forward personality.

Last December, she was invited as part of a panel discussing women empowerment with former American President Barack Obama in Singapore. She also runs a second channel simply Anisha Dixit where she posts about fashion, lifestyle, travel vlogs and other personal content.

This is the twenty-fourth post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the content creator(s) getting featured in my post for Y tomorrow.

Since we are nearing the end of this challenge, you can read all the posts in this series here. Hope this video makes you chuckle like me.

W for Karunesh Tal(W)ar

The primary similarity between the content of stand-up comedian Karunesh Talwar and the Bollywood movie ‘Thappad’ is about making the audience uncomfortable about issues that have been normalized for too long. This cynical writer and comedian believe in choosing humor as a medium to communicate his angst against such happenings while also initiating a conversation around such topics. I discovered Talwar through one of his hard-hitting YouTube videos on women’s safety long back. Back then, he would mostly perform while sitting in one place. It was way different from the usual way of acting out jokes by most of his contemporaries. Over time, the chair has disappeared from the stage but the style of the act in the form of a conversation stays the same. The man with an expressive set of eyes only uses content and voice modulation to get his point across.

Karunesh Talwar - Source: Facebook
Karunesh Talwar – Source: Facebook

During his performance, there are no histrionics on stage, no over-the-top performances and no intention of sugar-coating jokes. He is one of the most sensible, straight-forward and intelligent comedians. He also belongs to the rare group of feminist artists who highlight issues from a woman’s perspective. I identify him as a stand-up humorist who tries to show the mirror to a patriarchal society.

He also cracks jokes about the current political scenario and a few unique topics like the Masterchef show and Bollywood. He made a stellar debut on Amazon Prime with his brilliant stand-up special Pata Nahi Par Bolna Hai’. Talwar’s performance is a classic example of using words as a medium to stir the conscience of its audience while tickling them with humor. Recently, his homemade joke videos on life during quarantine turned out to be a laugh riot.

This is the twenty-third post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the content creator(s) getting featured in my post for X tomorrow.

You can read all the posts in this series here. Hope this video brings a smile on your face.

V for Varun Grover

Writer, author, lyricist, activist, poet, and stand-up comedian Varun Grover is a well-known name in the field of the visual medium. He has won the National award for the best lyrics in 2015-16 for his song ‘Moh moh ke dhaage’ from the movie ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar. This intellectual activist is known for his strong opinion on the current political and socio-economic scenario in the country. His work includes movies like Masaan and Gangs of Wasserpur, Udta Punjab, Newton and web series like Sacred Games among many others. His poem ‘Hum Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge’ against the imposition of NRC went viral to become such a rage that it was considered as the unofficial anthem for solidarity in the fight against oppression. A few months ago, he was also in the news for uploading pictures wearing nail paints while smashing gender stereotyping.

Varun Grover - Source: YouTube
Varun Grover – Source: YouTube

Grover is known for his political satires. Be it on the ban that the movie Padmavaat faced or the stifling environment overshadowing the nation, this razor-sharp humorist doesn’t mince his words while taking a dig at such an unfortunate turn of events. ‘Aisi Taisi Democracy‘, the part comedy and part musical show that he performs with Rahul Ram (Indian Ocean) and Sanjay Rajoura touch upon uncomfortable topics in the present scenario.

Through the veil of humor, Grover highlights those issues that are either covered-up or not supposed to be spoken about for being highly sensitive. This powerful and empowered artist promotes awareness by coating the truth with a dose of humor. There are very few performers who have the potential to create such thought-provoking quality content applying the genre of comedy.

This is the twenty-second post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’ I will see you on Monday when I disclose the featured stand-up comedian in my post for W.

You can read the previous posts in the series here. I strongly recommend everyone to watch this video to understand how jokes can also make you uncomfortable and hit your conscience while laughing out loud.