Vaccinate your children

An article on ABC online was published yesterday about some of Australia’s top scientists trying to convince people to have their children vaccinated (read the article here).

Yes, you read that right. We are having to plead with people to use vaccines, which have been around since the 19th century. They are an innovation that has been compared to safe water in terms of reducing mortality (above even antibiotics). Hundreds of thousands of little children that used to die before vaccines were created do not die anymore because of vaccines. And here we are, a first world country, one of the richest developed countries in the world, and one out of every twelve Australian babies is not properly immunised. Apparently the rate of people choosing not to vaccinate their children (“vaccine objectors”) has increased six-fold since 1999.

W.T.F.

It’s all well and good if you don’t mind your child getting whooping cough and dying (although sad) but when you choose not to vaccinate your child you are actually putting the whole community at risk. Babies have to get vaccines in stages, they can’t get all of them at once. So if that newborn baby is exposed to an older child whose parent is a vaccine objector and didn’t get the whooping cough vaccine, the older child may get whooping cough and survive it, but the baby’s got almost no chance.

So stop pretending that you know better than two centuries worth of medical experts, policy makers, and the  entire scientific process and VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN.

My apologies for posting an opinion piece – I normally try to avoid this, but the shocking data I just read was too much to ignore.

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3 thoughts on “Vaccinate your children

  1. Who was it that said vaccines are a victim of their own success? They've spared generations of parents the pain of losing infants to disease, so now all people focus on are virtually non existent risks. This sort of thing is a self correcting problem, it's just unfortunate that the self correction comes in the form of infant mortality.

  2. @James: I'm not sure who said that but it's true. I hope it doesn't take a steep increase in infant mortality for people to understand how important vaccines are. Especially because many of those infants that will die will not necessarily be those born to vaccine objectors. I hope, instead, that scientists can do a better job of informing the public with the correct information, like the scientists that are making the booklet discussed in the ABC article. We need more of that. Translatable science FTW.

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