Vaccination has become such a hot topic in the last few years, yet no-one cared who was vaccinated or not in the previous 50 years. Polio, and small pox have long since gone, even measles was declared eliminated from Australia.
Today, people are vilified for having an infection that was once a normal part of childhood: for infections that were expected and easily dealt with for the vast majority of Australian children. Meanwhile, our children have exchanged these infections for all manner of diseases, rarely heard of in earlier generations of children.
Something has changed and Australian parents are now encouraged to be afraid of these childhood infections, along with many others we had never heard of, until vaccine time.
Only 10 years ago, no-one knew who was vaccinated, no-one asked (except occasionally a doctor) and no-one cared.
Our children are not dying from these infections, but a thousand under 12 months of age die every year from other problems, like heart disease and SIDS or SUIDS. We did not have epidemic deaths and damage from these infections in the 1960s - 2000s, with only 70-80% vaccination, so why do we need 100% coverage now? When vaccination didn't matter back then, why are we demonising those who don't want to vaccinate now?
So many questions... not enough thought out answers.....
Find answers, know what comes next, know what a reaction looks like and record your child's health, step by step through the Australian Vaccination program.
Are you ready for that first vaccine?
Do you know enough to give informed consent?
Why are babies given so many more than our parents needed?
Why do we need to repeat them?
Is your newborn allergic to vaccine ingredients?
Are there other ways to avoid infections?
Do vaccines always work?
Are these injections always safe?
Are you one of the 43% parents with concerns?
Or the significant number of doctors not strongly convinced?
How serious are vaccine side effects?
Did vaccines alone save us from disease?
Why do other countries compensate for injury?
Why can't our doctors express their concerns?
Aren't doctors the experts?
What really is in vaccines? Does your doctor know?
Are our children healthier, overall?
Most of us have a caring doctor who really wants the best for us and our babies. Doctors certainly do know more than a new parent who has not made a point of researching for themselves. However, our current medical system allows very little time to discuss our questions, or for doctors to research more deeply for themselves. Many rely on what they were told in their brief training from years ago, but much has changed in the last 20 years.
There are also legal requirements in Australia for our doctors to promote the vaccine program, and doctors are encouraged to reassure parents without delving too far into their questions.
Good question! Most of the 200 plus references come from medical journals, government websites or information supplied by the manufacturers of vaccines. Add a bit of common sense, a love for truth and a willingness to look at historical numbers and records to get it straight.
Kathleen Austin was vaccinated as a child, has fully vaccinated children and also had several travel vaccines for an African adventure. Recently she has taken a step back to get a better understanding of this growing practice. Her formal tertiary qualifications provide a logical approach and sound understanding of the data governments collect.