Vaccination

I don’t subscribe to the notion that Big Pharma (or, as I always picture when I read those words, Big Farmer) is out to get us, forcing vaccines into unwitting families in an effort to poison us all for the sake of the almighty dollar. There are years and years of research showing the safety and efficacy of vaccinations for the vast majority of people.

They are not risk free, but generally speaking, the risk of a severe vaccine reaction is smaller than the risks posed by the vaccine-preventable illness.
I don’t believe any parent takes the decision to vaccinate or not lightly. I think some people are more ambivalent and assume that if the government is funding it and recommending it, then they are doing so for a good reason. I think that is a pretty fair assumption- after all, logic dictates that they would not be trying to vaccinate everyone in an effort to make them sick. From a purely economical standpoint, that would be ridiculous, considering it would then be up to the public health system to fund further treatments etc. My first daughter received a number of vaccines based on this logic, with no ill effects. When she was about 2 or 3 years old, I did start to look more deeply into vaccines. I began researching online. Mistake. It turns out people post some crazy stuff on the internet. Luckily, it was mostly pretty obvious to me at that stage and I didn’t find it too difficult to sort through the chaff. One that got me, though, was a website called the Australian Vaccination Network. It claimed to support information and choice, yet at the same time it had some baffling and terrifying assertions. It also contained a gallery of “vaccine injured” children. Looking at this website alone, and taking their word as gospel, there is no way in hell I would have ever allowed another vaccine near a child of mine. Luckily, from prior reading, my bullshitmeter immediately started howling. I couldn’t believe all the half truths, baseless correlations and straight out lies I could see before me, and not much has changed. They are currently fighting to keep the name Australian Vaccination Network although Anti-Vaccination Network is much more indicative of the content. The AVN has claimed, among other things, that vaccinations cause SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome- with AVN founder Meryl Dorey referring to it as “Shaken Maybe Syndrome”, effectively siding with child abusers and killers in her quest to be “right” about vaccines. Despicable.

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Taken from the AVN Facebook page. My last post was unanswered by Meryl & Co and was deleted from the page, while I was banned 🙂

At the end of the day, we are all parents hoping to do the best by our children, and we all make our own risk assessment. However, I hate to see risk assessments made on dodgy information.

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As a parent with an interest in vaccines, all I can say to you is to be very careful where your information comes from. It shouldn’t come from the Australian Vaccination Network. It shouldn’t come from anyone associated with Meryl Dorey and her cronies. It shouldn’t come from anyone’s blog- not even mine 😉 If you read a study, make sure you can understand it and correctly interpret the data presented. Make sure it’s not outdated and is still relevant- I’ve seen studies that have been superseded by newer, more relevant info many times over used in anti-vaccine literature. Watch for scary catchphrases and look into them- for example- “Vaccines are made out of aborted foetal tissue!” Sounds pretty bad, right? Conjures up images of abortion clinics supplying Big Farmer with his much needed materials to manufacture evil vaccines, when this just isn’t the case. Click here for a better explanation of how human cell strains have been used to develop vaccines. If in doubt, talk to a doctor, talk to your local child health nurse. Talk to people who have nothing to gain out of your decision- don’t talk to a homeopath who wants to sell you “homeopathic vaccines” (aka tap water and sugar pills), don’t talk to organisations that want to sell you magazines or membership.

Base your decision on facts, on evidence. Not feelings, fears and fads.

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