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  5. Immunisation - adverse reactions? safety?

Immunisation - adverse reactions? safety? Rss

I am a first time mum with a six week old baby girl and am a bit concerned about immunisation. I've heard lots of horror stories about bad reactions and am wondering if anyone has had a baby that reacted badly to any of their needles? Any information that you could share with me would be really appreciated. Also my naturopath has told me that putting immunisation off for a few months allows baby's natural immunity to strengthen before being immunised. This is supposed to reduce the risk of more serious reactions. Is this ok to do?
Hi Harmony's mum

My daughter is almost 10 months. She had all her needles at 2,4 & 6 months and just recently I gave her the prevenar injection as she was starting daycare. She didn't have any reaction to any of them although after the 6 month one she did get a bit of a temperature the next day, but wasn't to high and panadol bought it down. She wasn't grizzly either. My opinion is that I wouldn't hold them off. They obviously say to have them at certain times for a reason, but you do what you think is best. It is horrible giving it to them, but a few mins later they are fine.

Julie, mum to Abby 05/02/04 & Joel 12/04/07

My DD has had all her injections inc prevenar. She was a bit sleepy with a slight fever for her 2mth injections but no reaction for the others. Its hard these days to make up your mind as we just dont see the horrific and sometimes fatal consequences of childhood diseases as imunisation has decreased the numbers and severity of the disease.

Regarding putting the vaccinations of for a few mths, a few weeks here and there would not make much difference but If your bub is around children and other groups of people fairly often I probably wouldnt be delaying them too long. That said, I am actually going to space out my DD's 12 mth vaccs as I think challenging her imune system with 6 different pathogens at once is a bit much.

Mumma to DD1 Jan 04 and DD2 Mar 06

Hi Harmony's Mum,

I am also a first time mum, and we have not vaccinated our baby for a variety of reasons (mainly based on extensive research and discussions with health professionals). We are certainly not convinced that the ingredients that they actually inject into the child is in the best interests of our baby's health. You may wish to do further investigating if you feel instinctively that vaccinating may not be the right thing to do - I truly believe that your instincts as a parent to your own child are always right, and only you know what those instincts are. After you have done this investigating you may come to the conclusion that you wish to vaccinate or you may decide not to vaccinate, but this decision is for you to make. Unfortunately, you cannot find out which children are going to have reactions and which children are not. I completely agree with your Naturopath that we need to allow a baby's natural immunity to develop and perhaps his/her reasons for telling you to put vaccinating off for a few months is his/her way of suggesting that you do further research (especially if you have doubts) before making your final decision. I'm sure your Naturopath will be able to give you suggestions as to where you can find more information, indeed there is info on the internet and of course you could discuss it with other health professionals. I wish you the best of luck in reaching your decision, whatever that may be.
Hi there,

The hardest thing that my hubby and I had to decide was immunisation. I generally believe in keeping things as natural as possible so was concerned about immunisation. Before the birth of Riley, I had not even taken a Panadol for about 10 years!!!! We tried to find info on immunisation, we wanted to read the pros and cons of both sides but found it very hard to get anything other than government info, which we considered to be one sided. So after speaking to lots of different people, and reading as much as we could find, we decided that the best thing to do was to immunise. I dont think that I will ever stop wondering if there has been some underlying side effect that will never be recognised, but I suppose that it is just a normal thing to worry as a parent. We decided that it would be worse if Riley picked something up and had major problems of another kind.

Riley had a lung infection at birth so was in NICU for the first two weeks of his life, we had considered before he was born, that we would delay his immunisation until he was a little older, and after his problems at birth, and all the drugs and antibiotics he was given, we agreed that this would be the best for him. We thought that his immune system would be weaker and we wanted a chance for breast milk to help his immune system become stronger before introducing something else.

So in the end, we did not let him have the Hep B vacc at birth for several reasons 1. - It's only new and I wonder if side effects have been properly discovered yet, 2. - We consider ourselves to be in a low risk environment (country town & baby not going to Day Care etc.) and 3. - I consider that after the poor baby goes through birth and adjusting to being out of the womb etc. that birth is a bad time to give a vaccination.

Riley had his first vaccs at 5mths and since they have to be min 1 mth apart the next two were at 6 & 7mths. We had to sign a Govt form to state that we had reasons against the Hep B.

Sorry to bore you with all the details, but I wanted to give an idea of what our decisions have been based on. When it comes to the crunch, I feel that the decision has to be made in the best interests of bubs...... Although its not an easy one!!! Good Luck!

Linda - mum to Riley 13.04.04 (#2 Due 29.12.05)

hi ness7
thanks for replying. just wondering if you can point me in the direction of any information that might help me to make my decision? are there any websites you would recomend? any information would be very appreciated.
harmony's mum
Hi Harmony's Mum,

I think if you are at the moment undecided, you are certainly doing the right thing in seeking more information. There is a website called (Vaccination Information Service), which will give you some information on the risks associated with vaccination as well as helpful links which you may like to view. Some books I can highly recommend is one written by a GP called "Vaccination: It's Your Informed Choice", written by Dr Peter Baratosy. What interested me most about this book was that it was written by an orthodox trained Doctor who, following extensive research and training throughout his many years being a Doctor, now also practises acupuncture and homeopathy and is anti-vaccination. Another book I have found extremely useful is called "Boost Your Child's Immune System" by Lucy Burney. It is very parent friendly when starting to introduce your child to solids, particulary when you are looking to boost their immunity naturally. So optimum nutrition is highly recommended. I have been following this book and my baby absolutely loves the organic steamed fruit and vegetables I have been serving her. She also provides practical information on how to treat your child naturally if they become ill (ie. colds, coughs, etc).

I guess after we considered all the information presented to us, both anti and pro-vaccination, we decided that anti-vaccination is the way we are going to go. We made this decision before our baby was born so she has never had any vaccinations (now 6 months old). I am pleased to say that she has never been sick a day in her short life (not even a slight sniffle or cough). Although she is not in daycare, she does has an active social life with lots of babies, children and adults (as well as pets).

It is such a difficult decision to make but I can honestly say that I wake up every morning knowing I have made the right decision, and the decision that we made was made because we felt it was right for our baby. We listened to other people's opinions but that was as far as it went, in the end, we were the ones that decided. All I can say, is that while you have doubts, continue to research until you are absolutely sure about which path you wish to take. If you decide to vaccinate then let this be your decision, not the decision of friends, family, nurses, doctors, media or the wider community - only you. Because at the end of the day whatever happens, you are the one that will have to live with it. Be open-minded with all information that comes your way and do not be bullied into making any decision (either way). Remember that vaccination in Australia is not compulsory.'s up to you what you want to do!

I hope some of this info is helpful to you. Please let me know if you would like any other information, and I truly wish you and your baby all the best.
I'm sorry to say but I agree with all the 'get them immunised" mums'. With technology so advanced these days I think immunisation is alot safer. I had both my boys done and had no probs. As for adverse reactions anyone could have a reation to anything foriegn which enters our body. The bodies natural reaction is to fight it.

If I didn't immunise my kids then I also wouldn't want to expose them to anything because they are at risk of becoming ill, which I think is a higher risk than to take the chance of immunising. Disease's aren't noticable to the naked eye, so there is always that fear of not knowing where is safe to take my kids and which child is safe to socialise with them.

I'd feel terrible if my child was fighting for their life in hospital because I choose not to immunise them, for example from hooping cough, one of the highest killers in infants. I've seen first hand a young baby die from this disease and to watch a poor baby fighting for a breath is one of the saddest thing I've witnessed. The baby hadn't been immunised, the mother was a druggie and alco and father in jail. So you'd expect such irresponsibility from these people.

And when I hear people who choose not to immunise, I think, they may choose to put their child at risk of these diseases but what gives them the right to choose to put a newborn's, who can not be immunised until 2mths old, life at risk. T

hese are just my views, I don't mean to offend anyone who reads this and it isn't directed to anyone in particular.

Thomas (10/12/01), Kane (22/06/04)

Thank goodness I live in Australia where vaccination is not compulsory, unlike USA where it is compulsory and the government is now compensating billions of dollars to people who have suffered vaccination damage or associated deaths. Having spent an enormous amount of time and effort into researching this most controversial issue, I regard myself as an extremely responsible parent who has chosen not to vaccinate. This is my right as a parent. It was not a decision that we decided out of the blue just for the hell of it, it was a decision made after analysing a great deal of information from both sides. In Australia, vaccination is just another medical procedure which you have the right to either go ahead with or decide not to. We weighed up the pros, cons, risks and benefits and decided that for our individual baby, it was not in her best interests. If other parents who have also done the research decide that vaccination is in their child's best interest, then that is also their right. This is what's called "informed choice" and while I continue to make an informed choice regarding my baby's health, I will always consider myself a responsible parent.

I am also a first time mum and my daughter just had her 4 month needles.

We have been lucky in the sense so far she has had no reactions to the needles being given, but i do have to say that i make my hubby take her to have them done, it is not that i am against it because i believe it is the best thing for them but i dont want to see my little girl experience the pain of having a needle, and the last lot she had was 3 needles in the one visit.

And apparently if you give your child the required amount of baby panadol 1/2 hour before bub has her needle it is suppose to reduce the senverity of any reactions and fever, which i never knew until a friend told me so this is what i give to my daughter before she has her needles.

Best of luck in whatever decision you decide on.

Sherrie and Maddisyn 09/09/04
Thanks all for sharing your ideas. Thanks Ness I will have a look at that website. I have to say that I have been looking into the whole vaccination thing a lot and I am shocked at some of things that I have found out. There is definately a lot more to it than what you are told in the government pamphlet. When I started looking into this I was mostly concerned about the immediate or more short term effects. I did not realise that the long term effects to general health could be so dramatic. At this stage my husband and I have decided to put off Harmony's vaccinations (with the possible exception of tetanus) until she is 2. Even then we will be avoiding all immunisations that contain thimerosal (mercury). We are still continuing to look into it further. In case anyone else is interested a website that we have found to be very informative is (founded by Dr Mercola) It contains information from a variety of Doctors. All I can say is that I would strongly encourage parents to do some research before taking their baby for their needles. An informed choice requires much more information than that contained in pamphlets. I think it is also important to keep in mind that doctors and paeditriticans are not necessarily experts on the subject (unlike an immunologist). I was also very interested to find out that the vast majority of research into vaccine safety is carried out by the drug companies or manufacturers of the products themselves, not by any independant body. This fact alone is quite frightening.

I can only imagine how tragic it would be to see a baby die from a disease that you could have immunised against but chose not to. However, I have a family friend who's child was rushed to intensive care immediately after an immunisation (MMR). Fortunately her baby lived however it was a very close call and she was told not to give any of her other children the same injection. Either way, if your child died from a disease or as a result of immunisation, as a parent you would always feel as though you made the wrong decision. It is a very difficult decision to make, and I sincerely hope that we have all made the decision that will turn out to be in the best interests of our own babies.

Thanks for your input.

Harmony's mum & dad
Though this might be informative. Taken from the NCIRS website ( )

"Which vaccines contain thiomersal?

All vaccines on the current Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule (ASVS) for infants and children under the age of 8 years are now free of thiomersal. The exception is the one of the infant hepatitis B vaccines, Engerix-B paediatric formulation, which contains a greatly reduced amount of thiomersal (2 µg per dose). The following tables list the vaccines used in Australia that are thiomersal free and vaccines that contain thiomersal.

Table 1: Thiomersal-free vaccines available for use in infants and children in Australia

Vaccine Trade Name

Hepatitis B
H-B-VaxII* preservative-free paediatric formulation
CSL/Merck Sharpe & Dohme

Infanrix and Tripacel
GlaxoSmithKline, CSL

DTPa-hepatitis B
Infanrix-Hep B


DTPa-hepatitis B-IPV

DTPa-hepatitis B-IPV-Hib B PRPT

Hepatitis B - Hib B PRP-OMP

Haemophilus influenza B OMP
Liquid PedVaxHIB
Merck Sharpe & Dohme

Haemophilus influenzae B PRPT
Pasteur Mérieux

Haemophilus influenzae B HbOC

Measles, mumps, rubella
MMR II, Priorix
CSL, GlaxoSmithKline

Meningococcal group C conjugate vaccines
Meningitec, Menjugate, NeisVac-C
Wyeth, CSL, Baxter

Oral polio vaccine

Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
Aventis Pasteur

Polysaccharide pueumococcal vaccine
Pneumovax 23
Merck Sharpe & Dohme

7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Varicella vaccine

Varicella vaccine
CSL/Merck Sharpe & Dohme

Influenza vaccine
Vaxigrip, Fluvax
Aventis Pasteur,

last updated November 2004"

Mumma to DD1 Jan 04 and DD2 Mar 06

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