Friday, April 12, 2013

To vax or not to vax - there is no question

I’m not normally a bandwagon type of person – but recent press has made me want to leap on it and anything else passing by.

I was really alarmed to see the front page of the Courier Mail yesterday (Rates lower than needed to stop spread of disease).

Being one of those ‘inner Brisbane residents’ to which they refer, I have to admit I was horrified – on two fronts.
  1. That someone would think I was one of those inner Brisbane ‘Baby Einstein’ demographic, or even worse
  2. That I would come in contact with one of those 'Baby Einstein' demographic, with my daughter in tow.

How can anyone, in all consciousness,(with an iota of intelligence) claim to have happy, healthy kids as a direct correlation to the fact that they weren’t immunised? What has that got to do with it? I, too, have a very happy, healthy yet fully immunised daughter.

But what got me was to go on and say, “I’m not worried about chicken pox, measles or mumps.” 

So...knowingly putting your child at risk of having these illnesses is OK then? But giving them an excellent chance in preventing them in the first place is not. I'm ever so glad that she's not worried about them. Did she ask her kids at any point if they would be happy to be as sick as a dog?

Severe side effects from these so called ‘childhood illnesses’ may be rare and are probably the preferred preventable diseases to catch. But having said that, I lost my dearest friend at school - to a bout of chicken pox.

I also find it interesting that she didn’t say, “I’m not worried about whooping cough or polio.”

All I ask of this mum and others like her –
  • Did you consider, at any stage, that perhaps you have just been lucky so far?
  • Did you consider, at any stage, that despite having healthy kids yourself, you are effectively saying – bugger everyone else’s? and
  • Did you ever, at any point, consider the ‘herd’ effect? 

I would hazard a guess and answer ‘no’ on all fronts.

The reason vaccinations work so incredibly well is because of the herd effect. Diminish the herd size and you compromise the effect.

It’s not rocket science.

(But this is – the Australian Academy of Science ‘The science of immunisation’  Please read and be armed with current science and robust research.)


  1. Thank you sensible mother! I grew up in the 1950's when we saw kids with polio and all manner of illnesses because there was no vaccination. Yes, there may be a risk if you do......but there is a much bigger one if you don't. And not just to your child, but to others. And I would like to ask some of these mothers if they would mind (as happened to a friend of mine) giving birth to a blind, intellectually disabled child because they (the mother) was exposed to measles during early pregnancy? I know a family who didn't get their kids vaccinated because "I couldn't bear to make my child cry". Oh for Pete's sake.... I bet they changed their mind when their 3 month old got whooping cough and ended up in intensive care. And my eldest got chicken pox as an adult (vaccination that was not available when he was a child) and was bedridden for 3 weeks, never mind that he's already had shingles either. If I could have spared him that I certainly would have. The immunisation rates in northern NSW are the lowest in the country. Just waiting for a real epidemic here.

    1. I, too, had chicken pox as an adult and have never been so sick in all my life. Nearly ended up in hospital as the lesions were internal and external! All within two weeks of going overseas!