Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vaccination

When Annabelle was born we were advised to have her vaccinated for whooping cough when she was 6 weeks old.



Whooping cough is a highly contagious but preventable disease which has claimed the lives of three children this year, including one infant in NSW. Since the epidemic was identified early this year, the NSW Government has committed $8.25 million to provide 330,000 free doses of whooping cough vaccine for infants, parents, grandparents and carers of infants under 12 months. Aaron and I have had the booster and my parents have as well.


In the past 12 months said the number of people infected nationwide has increased threefold to 27,000, up from 7,500 the previous 12 months.


Aaron and I didn't think twice about whether Annabelle would have the vaccination, as her parents we will do anything we can to protect her. It surprised me to learn the reason whooping cough has returned is due to the large numbers of people not vaccinating their children, mostly due to unsubstantiated research.


In Britain in the 70s parents with brain damaged children reported that their children were diagnosed close to the time they received the whooping cough vaccine. Despite studies showing this to be false whooping cough vaccination rates fell below 50 per cent as parents saw footage of the brain damaged children on TV, leading to over 20,000 cases and several deaths.


Another debacle was the result of research suggesting the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine - particularly the measles component - was responsible for autism. Again this was refuted by several studies but measles vaccination rates fell. This was followed by the expected response of a major measles outbreak, with many children hospitalised with severe infections.


In New South Wales whooping cough is on the rise, in Queensland it is measles.


Newborns are helpless and it takes so little to affect them.


Vaccination is a social responsibility. You can be healthy and do things will help to increase the health of your child. They will not stop them getting the diseases which vaccines prevent. They might recover from a cold more quickly. They won't recover from death.


Please vaccinate your child.

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