Vaccine myths have one Washington foster mother so against a flu vaccination requirement that she would rather give her new foster son up to the state. The state recently imposed a mandate requiring every household with foster children 2 years old and younger to get flu vaccine, or else.

"I've done a lot of research on it and I don't like some of the side effects that it has," Jamie Smith told KOMO News. "Unfortunately, I have to think about our kids who are in the house first, and to me they're more important, their safety, than trying to fight to keep this little guy."

Smith is afraid of the mercury in the vaccine ,and how it will affect his developing brain. She has five other foster children living in her home, and is so adamant about not vaccinating the baby boy, who was just born on Christmas day, that she would rather give him up. "I'm hoping that we can raise enough of a voice that the state will at least give waivers or do something so the children won't be taken out of their homes," Smith said.

Smith is not alone. One in four U.S. parents believes certain vaccines cause autism in otherwise healthy children. There have been zero credible studies linking vaccines to autism, or other unusual side effects. The only side effect there’s been, as a result of these kids forgoing their vaccines, is a sharp increase in whooping cough, measles, mumps, and other diseases that were once nearly eradicated.

In fact, vaccine refusals were largely to blame for a 2010 outbreak of whooping cough in California. In the same area as the outbreak, parents showed the greatest resistance to vaccine compliance. Parents usually fear the same misconceptions and theories.

Common Vaccine Myths:

  1. Vaccines contain chemicals that can harm children: False. Thimersol is the chemical many vaccine-fearing parents are afraid of because it contains mercury. However, it has been removed from scheduled vaccines and only resides in the seasonal flu vaccine in order to prevent germs, bacteria, and fungi from contamination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. The decision to not vaccinate my child only affects my child: False. Children who remain un-vaccinated can contract a disease and infect infants who have not yet been inoculated. When parents choose to not vaccinate their children, it puts every child they’re exposed to at risk of exposure to a live virus.
  3. Too many vaccines at once can override a baby’s immune system: False. Babies’ immune systems are strong enough to defend themselves from the day-to-day viruses and bacteria they come in contact with. Vaccines use deactivated viruses in their ingredients, and are scheduled to effectively protect babies' developing immune defenses.
  4. Drug companies administer vaccines to make profits: False. Global revenues for all vaccines was approximately $24 billion in 2013, according to the World Health Organization. It sounds like a lot, but it only accounts for two to three percent of the total pharmaceuticals on the market.