Immunisation: Protecting Your ChildOctober 06, 2017
A lot of ignorant fear-mongers who profess that immunisation causes disease in children are trying to scare parents away from one of the best ways to protect their child. New parents are particularly vulnerable to hype, and if they are exposed to fear inducing campaigns like the Generation Rescue propaganda spread by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy (http://www.generationrescue.org/) that falsely link vaccination to autism.
Dr Andrew Wakefield, who did a study in 1998, linking vaccination to autism, was stripped of his medical license, and the study was retracted as it was deemed to be fraudulent (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/index.html). It has since done a lot of damage to the damage of immunisation, and ignorant celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey who continue to peddle fraudulent and ignorant myths about immunisation are making parents hysterical about immunisation.
If you have ever been in a hospital with a newborn who has a severe respiratory illness, who has had to be resuscitated, you will begin to appreciate the necessity of immunisation. Whooping cough and flu, vaccine preventable diseases are cruel and unnecessarily distressing. The parents who propagate the myths about vaccination being linked to causing diseases such as autism not only cause misunderstandings about autism, but reduce the rate of immunisation, causing more disease epidemics in vulnerable populations.
Immunisation: A Brief History
The Chinese practiced immunisation in the 17th Century (http://www.immune.org.nz/vaccines/vaccine-development/brief-history-vaccination); Buddhist monks would drink snake venom to create immunity to snake bite, and also used a technique of vaccination to prevent smallpox by wiping a skin tear with cowpox. Edward Jenner (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/jenner_edward.shtml) carried out an experiment in 1796 on an eight year old child to demonstrate how using cowpox he could expose the child to the disease in order to create an immunity in the boy.
Jenner was ridiculed for his ideas, due to them being considered too “radical,” yet his study demonstrated a clear case for vaccination. Louis Pasteur continued research into immunisation, and subsequently vaccination campaigns were carried out, eradicating smallpox and other diseases. More research was done, and as vaccination proved to be effective, widescale populations received immunisations.
Louis Pasteur’s (https://www.biography.com/people/louis-pasteur-9434402) first vaccine discovery was in 1879 with a disease called chicken cholera. He is responsible for the understanding of microbes and transmission of diseases and the development of a number of vaccines. (https://www.chemheritage.org/historical-profile/louis-pasteur)
Immunisation Has A Number of Benefits
Despite the anti-vaccination proselytes attempting to dissuade new parents from vaccinating their children, there are a large number of very valid reasons for immunising your child. Among which, you are saving your child from dying from some horrific (and preventable) diseases.
Some fatal diseases such as polio have largely been eradicated due to widescale immunisation programs, and these types of diseases previously wiped out large numbers of the children. Vaccines are also extremely safe and effective at preventing diseases. Immunisations undergo extensive research and testing by researchers, scientists, doctors and health professionals.
Side effects from immunisation include soreness and tenderness at the site of injection, and possible slight fever or discomfort. Some children or patients may experience nausea or a slight headache, and these are normal within the range of side effects and can be treated with a mild analgesia to promote comfort.
The mild side effects of immunisation compared to the horrendous signs and symptoms of the diseases they prevent are minimal. The side effects that people experience as a result of being vaccinated is from the human immune system being activated against the introduction of the immunisation constituents, and taking effect to eradicate any similar types of viruses or microbes that attempt to invade the body.
Immunisation of the general population helps to protect the people who are immune-system compromised, newborns, and those who are unable to be vaccinated. When a significant number of the population are vaccinated, it means that the small part of the population who cannot receive vaccination are protected from being exposed to potentially fatal diseases.
When you get yourself or your child immunised, you are also potentially saving yourself thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time. When a person becomes ill from a preventable disease, they can lose a lot of time and money in lost wages, and having to spend large amounts of money on medical treatments. Caring for sick children or relatives who have contracted an illness also means a loss of income.
Preventing the loss of time and money through a simple solution like immunisation is a logical and cost effective way to keep your life stress free. Immunisation also prevents future generations from having to suffer and be exposed to cruel and unnecessary diseases. Some diseases that were once feared have become historical lessons in medical research, and now current populations are no longer slave to the fear of contracting those diseases, due to previous generations ensuring widespread vaccination campaigns.
Vaccination Has A Long Safety Record
Australia has one of the most rigorous safety testing programs in the world for all vaccinations in the National Immunisation Program. In Australia, the Therapeutic Good Administration administers all testing, distribution and registration of vaccines. It can take up to ten years before an immunisation is approved for use in Australia.
The vaccines used in Australia have had to be studied in large scale clinical trials, and their safety has to be determined as a result of these trials, and adverse reactions have to be noted. Any adverse reactions or allergies to vaccinations are constantly reported and monitored in Australia, and if there are any concerns about the use of any vaccine, the use of these can be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Vaccines.
In order to minimise any potential minimal discomfort from mild side effects of vaccination, ensure that you discuss with your doctor the use of pain relief for your child prior to administration of any needles. The immunisation of your child is kept on a national register and there is a recommended schedule for different ages and for particular vaccines.
This schedule has been designed by health practitioners, scientists and health advocates in order to provide the most benefit for a child from the immunisation program. From the earliest beginnings of vaccinations, and the large amount of people who have received immunisations, public health on a global scale has benefited.
Immunisation has had the same type of overall benefit in improving people’s lifespans as what hand washing and public sanitation have done. For the very small number of people who have allergies to vaccines, it is still in everyone’s best interests to immunise on a wide scale basis.