Normally I try to stay away from the whole anti-vax thing.  You can trash a politician, be scathing about the Government, but question a parents decision and all hell will break loose & be heaped upon you.   I see articles like Blind denial of hard science, means parents who choose not to vaccinate are endangering children and I want to scream, inflaming me further is the fact that my backyard is one of the worst, "The Sunshine Coast also has vaccination levels below 85 per cent of five year olds and there are 1502 children who have not been fully vaccinated."

Reading "Queensland teacher boasts anti-vax agenda" by Chrys Stevenson @Chrys_Stevenson yesterday morning seriously pushed me over the edge.  A Teacher, yes a teacher, employed by the Queensland College of Teachers advocating the stupid ‘two sides’ to the issue rubbish.  The whole saga is appalling & even though I don’t thank Chrys for raising my blood pressure, I do thank her for bringing this to a wider audience for attention.  The final statement by this teacher in her facebook saga, is horrifying and documented below and if that does not scare the hell out of any sane educated person, then it should!

“I have school tomorrow to teach all about the pros and cons of vaccination.  I win.”

Regardless of how cynical you are about our Government (regardless of flavour), the point is that they are always scared of enforcing anything that could result in a massive class action at a later date.  In fact, one of the biggest complaints in this country is that we have to wait so long to have access to drugs that are used overseas due to rigorous testing here?   Science is always changing, but the 'Immunisation' science has been around for decades. There is no debate only proof, we have almost wiped out some of the worst diseases, yet, because of “ill-informed”people, many are now making a come-back :(

One of my biggest bug-bears are the pool fencing laws we have in Qld.  They cost a fortune for the home-owner, they cost Councils heaps in inspecting (which the home-owner pays again in rates), and the sole purpose is to Safeguard children from drowning.  I have a photo here (please click on it so you can see it full screen) of our backyard, this is why I find them ludicrous, my pool has the obligatory fencing, yet we have a dam at the back which doesn’t need fencing UGH!   Don’t get me wrong, I do care about children drowning, I just believe that money should be invested in teaching kids to swim.  A barrier is a temporary fix, teaching a child to swim from age dot is something that will help them all their life.  The actual statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia "National Drowning Report 2012" show that.  In fact page 6 of that report will show you that rivers and creeks record the highest number of drowning deaths in total.  When it comes to littlies, there were 21 children who drowned,  8 of those were in a pool?  I don’t have a young child anymore, I don’t even have friends with young children that visit on a regular basis, so my point is...

I don’t have a "choice" with my pool, I HAVE a legal responsibility to the safety and welfare of children in our community.

For some reason in recent years Immunisation has become a ‘debate’ or a ‘choice’ topic in the media?  I do not get it.   Media organisations carry on about ‘balance’, though seriously, if there is some terrible racist event that happens, they don’t trot out a member of the KKK to give the ‘racists’ point of view for balance do they?  They should not give Anti-Vaxxers any air-time or print space either.

The science is very clear.  For every rubbish excuse that Anti-vaxxers give, they have been investigated and debunked, see “The Science of Immunisation: questions and answers“.  Now, there are many children who are born with issues that mean they legitimately cannot be vaccinated.  Parents of those children live in terror of their kids catching something that will compromise their immunity to make their initial condition worse.  Yet, it seems that the anti-vaxxers think they have no responsibility to the parents of those kids?  In fact, it is not just the infants who are immune-compromised or too young to be vaccinated yet that are in danger, the likes of Whooping Cough can also be a death sentence for the elderly.  Where is the community responsibility to safeguard these people?

Sadly, if you do a search for ‘Immunisation’ in Google, the 2nd result is Australian Vaccination Network ", a group who are extremely dangerous, disseminating slanted information under the guise of ‘information’, to add insult to injury they have the tagline of  “Because every issue has two sides".  NO! THERE ARE NOT TWO SIDES!  There is only one side, science & the responsibility for the health of your children and others in the community.  Under this link is Immunise Australia Program, yep, under!  The site that actually has real information to help is BELOW the dodgy organistion that has in fact been pinged by the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading, “Anti-vaccination network told to change its name or be shut down” as it is misleading!  That site is one of the main reasons so many believe they have a 'choice'.

It is important to note that it is not just babies who are too young to be vaccinated that are put at risk.  Many children are born with issues that mean they can’t be vaccinated, many adults are immune-suppressed for a variety of reasons, the elderly are at risk at the best of times, and this is a larger than we would like percentage of the population that honestly have NO choice in regard to vaccination.  These people need to be protected and safeguarded in our community.  To put them at risk because of a particular choice of a parent who has believed the pseudo-science perpetuated by the Anti-Vaxxer lobby is just irresponsible and I would go so far as to say Criminal.  If you have HIV and knowing spread that through unprotected sex that is a criminal act.  What is the difference here?  No-one should have a right to put others lives at risk because of their own selfish choices.

Now, I know this will sound harsh, but if you don’t vaccinate your kids, I feel it is putting them in danger and action should be taken.  You can’t leave a 3 year old at home all day on its own without getting a knock on the door from the authorities for endangering your child?  I can’t say stiff bikkies, I won’t fence my pool as I don’t have kids, so bugger you lot that do?  I can’t get in a car & drink drive because I could put someone in danger.  

As far as I am aware, it is illegal in this country to KNOWINGLY put another person in danger , so how the hell can these ant-vaxxers think they have a ‘choice’ to not only put their own children at risk, but others in the community too?

Noely @YaThinkN
PS.  A good article for ammo if you have friends or family (as I do) on how to combat anti-vaxxers: SHARE: 6 things to say when you're faced with anti-vaccination rhetoric
If you are interested in Pool Fencing, Swimming & how to save kids from drowning this opinion piece "Those 'Dam' Pool Fences" was written back in November 2012.

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