Anti-jabbers face rude awakening

IS IT just me or does every one think humans are funny things?

In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths every year.

According to the World Health Organisation, measles remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Approximately 122,000 people died from measles in 2012 - mostly children under the age of five.

In Australia, where the vaccine is free and freely available, parents increasingly turn away.

Conscientious objection is nothing new and I grew up in a hippy town so it's never bothered me too much. I

figured my children were my responsibility and others could choose their own path.

For the record, when Jemima was almost two she contracted measles and it was over after a night of vomiting. The rash appeared and disappeared in less than 24 hours. Her immunisation saved us a lot of heartache. Quite possibly it saved her life.

Australians resist being told what to think or do and anyone with a computer can find a community to support a dissenting theory.

I get that, but disease isn't a theory and vaccinations are one of the greatest triumphs of modern science.

Immunisation has made previously lethal illness disappear from society. It's only fault perhaps is that it is too effective.

Our collective memory is too short and people who have never seen a child struck down by polio, blinded by measles or killed by tuberculosis just don't appreciate the risk.

It's true that some people have an adverse reaction to immunisation.

We don't ban peanuts because some kids have allergies and we shouldn't ban vaccination either.

People who choose not to vaccinate rely on the herd immunity to keep their children safe.

In Australia, in the past 10 years, that has worked very well for objectors.

But when their unvaccinated offspring choose to travel to impoverished countries, where 195,000 children still die of whooping cough every year, or if compliance in Australia falls below 60% I wonder if they'll have a different view of the jab.


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