Immunisations, why wouldn't you?
This is an issue that genuinely interests me. I’m not blogging about it to ignite a firestorm of controversy. I just want to know why it is people choose not to immunise their kids.
I ask this, because a news story caught my eye recently where a 5 week old baby died of whooping cough in Adelaide and I can’t imagine the heartbreak of those parents. The end of the news report said there had been over 4000 reported cases of it in SA last year, up 1000 cases on the year before.
And it got me thinking. Clearly people are choosing not to immunise their kids. But why not?
The Federal government currently has a National Immunisation Program Schedule where children under five can expect to receive 13 injections and several oral courses, which makes up a total of 45 vaccine doses. I’ve had to cuddle and comfort many tears from my offspring over the years as I’ve taken them to have each of their shots.
My logic has always been that prevention is better than cure, and I sure as hell didn’t want to allow other kids to get sick if I exposed them to something my child might have had if they hadn’t been immunized.
Earlier this year the FluVax programme was halted due to the side effects children were experiencing. Nine out of every 1000 children under five had febrile convulsions. The expected side effect rate is less than one child per 1000. Now that must have been a terrifying side effect for any parent to watch their child suffer and I could understand why parents would have been questioning the wisdom of having their child immunized if this is what happened. That said, having watched one of my kids suffer through a horrible bout of swine flu before the vaccination was readily available, was pretty awful too.
I also know parents who worry about the safety of having multiple vaccines administered at the same time. I wonder if there is an alternative being offered to these parents or if they choose to avoid vaccinating for that reason.
It is a complex issue. I’ve always had a very straight view on it and immunized my children accordingly.
But seriously, why wouldn’t you immunise your child?