Immunising our children: should we, shouldn’t we?

by User Not Found | Oct 14, 2015

Where do you stand on the immunisation debate? Would you send your child to ​childcare where they may contract a life threatening disease because another child hasn’t been vaccinated?

Girl-in-art-classThe federal government has introduced its ‘no jab, no pay’ budget measures with parents who don’t immunise their children missing out on childcare benefits.

Dr Dean Robertson an emergency doctor in northern NSW says, “In Australia, vaccination has long been an ‘individual choice’. Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.”

Associate Professor Cameron Grant from the University of Auckland says, “Babies in their first year of life are particularly vulnerable to complications from serious diseases that can be stopped with a simple vaccine.

Dr. Sujal Ghosh, Pediatrician from University Hospital Düsseldorf, Germany (currently doing a research fellowship at University College London) says, “Immunising children is essential for their wellbeing and protects children from severe viral and bacterial diseases. It’s also a parent’s responsibility towards their child and society.

“Campaigners against immunisation present misleading data and many so called ‘experts’ preach not to vaccinate children. They focus on associations especially between different types of vaccinations and diseases like multiple sclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome, cancer, allergy and other immunological or neurological diseases, and also autism.

“Also, the objectors highlight direct complications as a result of vaccinations, like allergic reactions. However, their presented data don’t show any or only loose scientific evidence (e.g. ‘we have more diabetes, since the introduction of vaccine A’) and doesn’t take into account the lifestyle and diet change that may have caused the disease in the first place.

“Adding to this, no study of the anti-vaccine campaigners/ objectors compares to deaths due to possible side effects (which are virtually minimal) with the deaths of children, which would occur if the paediatric population in western countries would not be mass-immunised.

“Another typical argument by the anti-vaccine campaigners are that there are more deaths from ‘effect A’ e.g. the measles vaccine than death from measles.
It´s true in a perfect vaccinated society and that is why some governments pay compensation for the so called vaccine related mortality / morbidity.

“We’ve noticed also a ‘social class component’ to this issue—especially in western countries—where children from ‘educated classes’ are unlikely to be vaccinated against measles. To have an effective protection in the society we need a vaccination rate of 95 per cent.

“In 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2014 there were several measles outbreaks in Germany—especially in private schools. These children came from families whose parents were in the high income bracket and different vaccine philosophy. The vaccination rate within this group is 25 per cent.

“Poor-resource countries like Cuba—with a very efficient vaccine and public health policy—managed to be measles free. The global aim is to eliminate the virus completely like smallpox.

“Personally,” Dr Ghosh says, “I haven’t seen a single case of a severe vaccine-associated complication. However, I have seen multiple cases of severe measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough (in two cases of the latter leading to severe brain damage due to low oxygen supply). In all these instances the parents actively decided not to vaccinate their child.

“Not all the vaccination schemes harmonise with each other, and countries have their own national preference due to scientific evidence. However, there is a good consensus of a basic vaccination schedule leading to excellent prevention of severe infectious disease in the majority of children.”

It can be quite stressful to adopt an ‘each to their own’ policy especially if your vaccinated child catches a life threatening disease because 20 kids in the childcare centre are unvaccinated.

There are lots of useful information in the Australian Immunisation Handbook and on Herd Immunity that can help you decide.

27 comments

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  1. Grandma | Mar 30, 2016
    OK Folks.....I have eight kids none of whom were vaccinated...youngest in Uni now....the problem is the culture...Moms think they have to dump their kids in care from 6 weeks old these days. (so they can get their bodies and their "life" back). Stay home and breast feed for at least 1 year...5-6 months only breast milk, there is your immunization right there. (I bf my youngest until he was 4 1/2) I would never recommend that a child under 2 be vaccinated...too many cases of SIDS and brain damage. The Pharma. Cos will never release the data on that...
  2. david mwangi kageche | Nov 30, 2015
    l support the vaccination.
  3. WTF | Nov 28, 2015
    Im confused as to why i should be worried about my vaccinated child being around unvaccinated children?? SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VACCINE??? By vaccinating does that mean my child is at risk of catching something? Doesnt make sense to me. More worried about th HIV and hepatitis kids around my child to be honest.
  4. I HAVE A DEGREE | Nov 27, 2015
    THAT DAMN GOVERNMENT, FORCING US TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR THE WELLBEING OF THE COMMUNITY IS DISGUSTING. WE SHOULD REMOVE ENFORCED 40KPH SPEED LIMITS AROUND SCHOOLS AS WELL, THE SLOW CHILDREN DON'T DESERVE TO BE CATERED FOR!
  5. Tasma | Nov 27, 2015
    I fully support vaccination and 'no jab no pay", I would not send my child to a day care that did not push for vaccination of it's attending children. Out of curiosity Rachael, can you point us to any publications you have had under the banner of bio scientist? I am imagining that when you undertook your PhD you had some published work in journals? Just curious...very dubious of your title but by all means prove  me wrong.
  6. S | Nov 27, 2015

    I see everyone hates antivaxxer because you only read and hear mainstream media but no one cares about all kids with current and medically confirmed HIV and Hep diseases can still attend daycare they never been excluded. That is fine right? No problem. You dont know about that as you all dont know that all daycare center has unvaccinated kids around. 

  7. Jen | Nov 27, 2015

    Rachel - I'm actually afraid for your patients.. You say you're a GP and a Bio Scientist, but you can't even spell simple words... 

    I trust your opinion as much as your ability to spell! 

    As for all the people talking about how bad vaccination is, how did you go when you contracted Small Pox? Oh, you've never had small pox? That must be because it was eradicated through Vaccination!! Get over your stupidity and think about more then just yourself for a change!! 

  8. Know Better Do Better | Nov 27, 2015

    There are numerous scientific studies indicating that at least 80% of all whooping cough cases in Australia are  caused by a mutated prn negative strain of the bacteria.  This mutation is in response to the vaccine in use - rendering it largely ineffective.  Why doesn't the government focus on real science instead continuing to peddle the same "safe and effective and best way to protect your children" mantra? This head in the sand approach is at the detriment of the true well being of our population.

  9. Amy | Nov 27, 2015
    Rachael can you please tell me where you studied medicine and science and where you practice? Because I would love to know what qualifies you to know differently to years of research and policy endorsed by every major health authority in the world. In fact, I call BS. Who refers to themselves as a "bio scientist"?! If you are a doctor then you know you are in the wrong, preaching dangerous misinformation at great risk to the public.
  10. Z | Nov 26, 2015

    Rachael | Nov 26, 2015

    I AGREE WITH RACHAEL'S ARTICLE BELOW.  I'VE COPIED THE ARTICLE SO IT CAN BE READ AGAIN.  THIS IS REALITY, IT'S ALL ABOUT PHARMACEUTICAL AND MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS.....THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYBODY, WHEN THEY WANT A PRODUCT TO MOVE THEY GIVE OUT INCENTIVES TO GP'S TO SUBSCRIBE THEIR NEW FOUND PRODUCT TO THEIR PATIENTS SO ALL OF A SUDDEN EVERYBODY HAS HIGH CHOLESTEROL.......OR HIGH SOMETHING ELSE......AND NOW WE ALL NEED TO BE JABBED AGAIN OR ELSE!!

    RACHAEL'S ARTICLE:

    No jab no PAY So many will go without basic essentials to prevent their children being poisoned by vaccines. Thays right Australian Government punnish those who need benefits by taking away not only their money but their basic human rights. If unvaccinated kids PAY they can still PLAY. So all you ignorant antivaxers... we will still have our pure healthy unvaccinated kids in the centers with your poisoned and unwell kids.Did you know the government is making adults all get their vaccined updated.or newstart will be removed as of 2017? 70% of adults are not properly vaccinated. So it looks like umeducated pro vaxers have just stuffed up royally. 70% ofntje adult population meeds 10 vaccimes each approx to catch up. So now tell me that the big pharmaceutical companies arent woth their ft hands in the pot with the Australian Government. Note. I AM A GP AND BIO SCIENTIST 

  11. Z | Nov 26, 2015

    IMMUNISED CHILDREN CATCH VIRUSES AND DISEASES - THEY ALSO SPREAD IT, IT'S THOSE WHO HAVEN'T BEEN IMMUNISED SHOULD BE CAREFUL OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IMMUNISED BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN JABBED WITH THE VIRUS, NOT ALL CHILDREN'S IMMUNITY WORKS PROPERLY SO THEY CARRY IT AND PASS IT ON........  

    I fully agree with Dr. Mel and those who disagree with immunisation, I've seen many children from being healthy to brain dead from immunisation, it should not be forced upon everybody, after all everybody's immunity is different especially newborn babies they get jabbed no matter how small they are, how is that determined?      

    What's next.....

    .....we might be forced to tattoo a barcode on our bodies to be accepted.  We are supposed to be living in a free country!!

  12. brooke | Nov 26, 2015

    What a disgraceful, uneducated, unsubstantiated article. ASG shame on you for promoting hatred for people exercising their Human Rights not to have medical procedures forced upon their families. 

    Injecting vaccines into the blood stream is a medical procedure. All medical procedures have risks. Where there are risks, there must be a choice. Our family GP died from the flu vaccine when I was in high school. My niece and nephew have brain injuries as a direct result from childhood vaccines. It is virtually impossible to obtain compensation for these ruined lives. There is no cure for brain damage or death. Vaccines are not as safe as pharmaceutically sponsored research claims.

    My naturally immune children may not attend your childcare centre or school, but we play at your playgrounds, shop at your shopping centres, borrow books from your library...

  13. Larzi | Nov 26, 2015
    Looks like we won't be taking out a plan with ASG. Sorry, ASG but I thought you better than that. 
  14. Well Researched (not Google or Jenny McCarthy based) | Nov 26, 2015
    Oh and this was one of the more biased articles I've seen in a while. Not a lot to be proud of here Madeleine.
  15. Well Researched (not Google or Jenny McCarthy based) | Nov 26, 2015
    I love that some of you are so naive you think your children are attending childcare and school with a 100% vaccinated population. I can tell you right now that isn't the truth. We are everywhere. You can't escape us. You can either choose to live in fear constantly or you can get on with your life like parents have done for decades. You will also never know which people were not able to receive any immunity from the vaccines they were given. It's pot luck the moment you step outside your door. Just get on with it for goodness sake and stop trying to tell others what to do with their life. You are not God, much as you might like to think you are.
  16. BJM | Nov 26, 2015

    Vaccination simply should not be a choice, it should just be law. Several deadly diseases were essentially obsolete as a result of vaccines. The amount of people actively refusing to accept medical and scientific research is disgusting. No, they aren't fool proof and some kids do have bad reactions but in the bigger picture of things vaccinations are beneficial. People need to wake up and realize this 'back in my day we got sick and didn't die' thing is ridiculous - people DID die. 

  17. susie | Nov 26, 2015
    No I wouldn't send my child to a Childcare that has unimmunised children my child has been immunised but that don't mean he can't catch diseases it's just to risky he is my world I'm not gonna let him get sick cause of some other child
  18. Bob | Nov 26, 2015

    What a biased and in places incorrect article. Interesting to note that most parents who choose not to vaccinate are well educated and often health professionals (like myself).

    Once you know a vaccine injured child your opinion changes dramatically. Vaccines have killed and greatly harmed children in Australia and overseas. The individual right to choose not to vaccinate should be maintained but now we allow the government to interfere and dictate health decisions for our children up to the age of 20. A dangerous precedent for future control.

  19. Rachael | Nov 26, 2015

    No jab no PAY 

    So many will go without basic essentials to prevent their children being poisoned by vaccines. Thays right Australian Government punnish those who need benefits by taking away not only their money but their basic human rights. 

    If unvaccinated kids PAY they can still PLAY. So all you ignorant antivaxers... we will still have our pure healthy unvaccinated kids in the centers with your poisoned and unwell kids.

    Did you know the government is making adults all get their vaccined updated.or newstart will be removed as of 2017? 

    70% of adults are not properly vaccinated. So it looks like umeducated pro vaxers have just stuffed up royally. 70% ofntje adult population meeds 10 vaccimes each approx to catch up. So now tell me that the big pharmaceutical companies arent woth their ft hands in the pot with the Australian Government. 

    Note. I AM A GP AND BIO SCIENTIST 

  20. Robert | Nov 26, 2015
    Less than 10% of studies which highlight the dangers of vaccines are published in Medical journals. Biased much?
  21. hope | Nov 26, 2015
    Title of this article is soooooo misleading... Debate? Should we or shouldn't we? Should have been titled Biased article that only debates reasons why you should. 
  22. Dr Mel | Nov 26, 2015

    I was vaccinated exactly on schedule and still managed to pick up measles. At least now I have full immunity. There are a few errors in this article and the 'no jab, no pay' paradigm:

    1. Chicken pox is not 'deadly' (the article speaks of the importance of vaccinations to prevent 'deadly' diseases) yet is compulsory. To be considered vaccinated, you must have all the vaccinations. There are many, many cases now of repeat chicken pox infections in chicken-pox vaccinated children (the vaccination elicits a partial immune response) whereas unvaccinated children acquire full inmunity when they catch it naturally.

    2. (And this is really important) The whooping cough vaccination does not stop you spreading the virus. It just shortens the time an afflicted person must deal with it. Do not think if you are vaccinated that you cannot give it to someone else - especially infants. Also, many of the worst strains of whooping cough have emerged in response to the whooping cough vaccination much like 'super bugs' and antibiotics so the vaccination will not help anyway. What is required is children with robust immune systems, who eat well and get fresh air, so they are not so susceptible to contracting the illness in the first place. If you don't contract it, you can't spread it. 

    I am a doctor and I would like to see more balanced reporting of these kinds of aspects of the debate. Reporting half the story makes out to the general public that vaccinations are completely fail-proof when it never has been the case. Thank you for tackling (part of) this issue though.   

  23. C | Nov 26, 2015

    Can we stop all those pesky asymptomatic vaccinated children from attending daycares and education centres also?

    Then, those who don't vaccinate or do vaccinate but have no immunities can feel safe.

  24. Anna | Nov 26, 2015
    I would absolutely not send my child to a day care centre with unimmunised children. Just because my child has been vaccinated does not make her immune. But more worrying, she could unknowingly bring home these diseases to younger siblings who have not yet had their vaccinations. Everyone is safer when vaccinations rates are as high as possible. It is a risk I am not willing to take.
  25. Healthy Skepticism | Nov 26, 2015
    Totally fine for kids to be unvaccinated at daycare. I want lifelong immunity for my kids by catching the illnesses I had as a child.
  26. Christine | Nov 26, 2015
    How does a vaccinated child catch a 'vaccinated against disease' off an unvaccinated child? 
  27. Cassandra | Nov 26, 2015
    What is wrong, is that the parents of children who are not immunised feel like they're being discriminated against, however the rights of the families who are immunised are taken away from them, because they are not allowed to be told that there is a non immunised child in care with their children. The rights of the non immunised are protected, but not the immunised. 

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