Yes I’m weighing in on it… I have good reason too. I am not immune to Rubella which means I rely on herd immunity. My unborn children rely on me to protect them but how can I do it if people aren’t getting vaccinated and are putting themselves (and myself) at risk of spreading the disease?
There is too much scaremongering out there and it’s making me mad. I am a trained Immunisation Nurse so many would say I am biased but I just like to remind them that I am informed. When I was studying for this title, I had to look into the research that was both for and against immunisation. I was open to being challenged and proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly benefits to natural immunity however the diseases we are asking people to vaccinate against often severely disable a person or kill them. These are not diseases to be messed with.
Today on mamamia.com.au, they published an article that generated A LOT of responses both for and against immunisation. You can read it here. The rates of immunisation are declining in some areas with some rates as low as 80%. This means that herd immunity is ineffective and nurses and midwives are recommending parents of newborns do not leave their houses for at least 6 weeks. How horrible for these people! In a time that is already very isolating, we are advising them to go on lock down because their child is at risk of dying.
This practice of staying in doors until your child has received the required immunisations is something I took part in when I lived in Papua New Guinea (A DEVELOPING COUNTRY!). This is not something we should have to do in Australia where the immunisations are readily available and FREE.
I am all for people having an informed decision and the right to choose however I do feel that the majority of these conscientious objectors are objecting because of poor information or deliberate misleading statements. Take the Australian Vaccination Network for example. Their very name implies they are the organisation in Australia that offers all the information at hand with regards to vaccinations so that an informed decision can be made. They are however, an organisation that is anti-vaccination and touts debunked research as fact. A lot of the articles they promote are considered by many researchers as poorly researched, flawed in their data collection (therefore not a true representation of what they are trying to prove), and state facts that have been disproved in later research. Whilst they are entitled to their opinions, in my opinion, they need to be careful of how they are representing themselves.
So after I read the article (I wasn’t too shocked as I knew the trends) I began to read the comments… bad move. It got me so motivated to inform some unfortunately misguided people that I wrote a
comment essay. Just look for the long comment by ‘Brooke’ at the end… you won’t miss it.
But one response that I found hard to swallow was by a lady called, Anonymous. Here is what she wrote (word for word, unedited):
“I have recently had to eat a MASSiVE humble pie .I have for the past 12 years been very vocal in my stance against vacinating my children, not due to the AVN ,but due to my son suffering a major adverse reaction resulting in a vaccination injury causing his life to not be what should have been.
My beautiful best friend lost her 9 week old baby girl 6 weeks ago to whooping cough, she was living in the states in an area known for its low vaccination rates .She came back to Austrailia to to bury her little girl , after her funeral she came to me and said yes your boy suffered but you can still touch him and hug him my girl is gone because of people like you .I have never been so hurt in my life , to see the pain in her eyes was overwhelming .My husband and i really had to take a good look at our decisions, after much deliberation we decided to seek the opinion of a few doctors we had contact with in the past , doctors who previously assured me vaccination would be safe for my younger children but at the time i was too angry with my sons outcome i couldnt /wouldnt listen.Long story short , under the care of an amazing doctor who addmitted my children into hospital over night after the first neddle for observation , we now have past the first hurdel with no incident , one childs arm was a bit red and that was that , we are due for more in two weeks , although i will be nervous of the out come i feel we have made the right decision . Its all well and good to have your belives , untill some one close to you actually dies from a preventable diease i think it changes your views somewhat.”