Immunize Nevada’s mission ensures accurate and evidence-based vaccine information is available and easy to access for all Nevadans.
Helping new parents, families, and community members when they have questions about vaccines or how to access them to ensure their health and protection is the work we do daily. We do this through our coalition partners, health fairs, community clinics, and healthcare providers. Sadly, at times this work is met with opposition and confrontation.
Recently, various red, black and white vaccine-related signs have made appearances across the country, and right here in Nevada. You may be wondering about the anti-vaccine messages on these signs, and below you will find the evidence supporting the truth to the claims being made.
This content was developed in partnership with Vaccinate Your Family; with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Immunization Partnership, and Vaxopedia. Visit https://www.vaccinateyourfamily.org/signtruths/ for sources.
Pro-vaccine signs photo credit: Amy Anderson Photography - Immunization Rally at the Minnesota Capital.
The Truth Behind the Signs
Truth: Vaccine reactions are exceedingly rare: on average, for every 1 million doses of vaccine that are distributed, one individual is compensated. Most of the money paid out by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, also referred to as the “vaccine court,” are now due to administration errors, not side effects from the vaccine itself. About half of petitions filed since 2017 are due to a condition called Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). Most SIRVA claims are a result of the flu vaccine. As a result, most of the claims in the program are now from adults, not children.
(Sign: 4 Billion Paid by US Government for Vaccine Injuries and Deaths)
Truth: The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, also known as the “vaccine court” awards compensation more freely and faster than traditional court, and is only the first stop for individuals who believe they have been injured by a vaccine. The judges, known as Special Masters, use a lower standard of proof and have 240 days from the date a petition is filed to issue a ruling. If they do not, the Petitioners can choose to continue within the court or remove their petition to civil court. Petitioners also have 30 days to accept the judgment, appeal, or switch to civil action.
(Sign: Vaccine Makers are Exempt from Liability)
Truth: Serious side effects following vaccination are very rare, occurring 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
(Sign: Vaccines Can Cause Injury and Death)
Truth: Vaccines are always placebo tested. When a new version of an existing vaccine is developed, it may be tested against the existing vaccine to ensure no one goes unprotected against a dangerous, vaccine-preventable disease.
(Sign: Vaccines Are Not Placebo Safety Tested)
Truth: Today, children receive protection against 14 diseases. In 1980, children received five vaccines by age 2 to protect against seven diseases. Today, by age 2, children following the recommended schedule receive up to 26 doses to protect against 14 diseases, but combination vaccines allow for just 18 doses. Our immune systems, however, respond to the number of antigens within vaccines, not the number of doses. Today’s vaccines have less than 130 antigens, compared to over 3,000 in the 1980s.
(Sign: Childhood Vaccines – 24 in 1988 – 72 in 2019)
Truth: There are no fetal cells in vaccines given to people. Viruses for the chickenpox (varicella), rubella, and hepatitis A vaccines are grown in cells taken from elective terminations of pregnancies, which took place in the early 1960s. Since then, the cell lines for these vaccines have been maintained in the lab and no further sources of fetal cells are necessary to make these vaccines. Once the vaccine viruses are grown in the cells, the vaccine viruses are separated from the cells and all substances used to help cells grow.
(Sign: Vaccines Are Made with Aborted Fetal Cells)
Truth: The benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh their risks, which is the legal definition of the term “unavoidably unsafe.” It is applied to all products whose benefits greatly outweigh their risks, such as all prescription drugs, as well as other products like nail polish remover.
(Sign: US Law Classifies Vaccines as Unavoidably Unsafe)
Truth: The measles vaccine cannot infect someone with measles. We could in fact eradicate measles if enough people were vaccinated against the disease.
(Sign: Impossible to Eradicate Measles with Live Virus Vaccine)
Truth: The measles, chickenpox and oral polio vaccines use weakened strains of the viruses that can be found in a person’s body for a few days after vaccination. The measles virus is not found at high enough levels to infect someone else. Fifty million people have been vaccinated against chickenpox, but only 11 people have been known to catch the disease after exposure to a vaccinated person. In a community with low vaccination rates, the strains of polio in the oral vaccine can circulate among people and regain the ability to cause harm after 12 to 18 months. In the U.S., we exclusively use inactivated polio vaccine.
(Sign: Live Virus Vaccines Shed and Spread)
Truth: HPV vaccine prevents a virus that can cause multiple fertility issues in addition to cervical cancer. Dozens of studies over years of observation have shown no connection between HPV vaccine and fertility issues.
(Sign: HPV Vaccine Known to Cause Ovarian Failure, Sterilization and Death)
Truth: The VSD and several independent studies have found the HPV vaccine to be safe and effective. Adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine have been filed in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, known as VAERS. Anyone can file a report in VAERS, including people who read a story on the internet. Anything can be reported as an injury, including car accidents or broken bones, which clearly are not caused by the vaccine. Systems such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) are actively monitoring reports to identify and investigate possible side effects.
(Sign: 100,000+ Adverse Reactions to HPV Vaccine Reported)
Truth: Vaccines do not cause encephalitis or autoimmunity issues. Vaccines can cause someone to develop a fever as their body responds to the antigens. If the fever spikes too high, it can cause a febrile seizure, which is a one-time event and causes no long-term harm. In fact, vaccines prevent diseases that can cause encephalitis and other serious conditions such as meningitis.
(Sign: Vaccines Known to Cause Seizures, Encephalitis and Autoimmunity)
Truth: School-entry requirements are not mandatory vaccinations. States decide which vaccines will be required for public, and sometimes private, schools. All states allow any parent who does not want to vaccinate their child and cannot obtain a valid exemption to choose to homeschool.
(Sign: Vaccine Mandates Violate Bodily Autonomy)
Truth: True adverse reactions to vaccines are exceedingly rare. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created to ensure those who have been injured by a vaccine receive compensation as quickly and easily as possible.
(Sign: My Child was Injured by Vaccines)