Anti vaxxers. Need I say more? To anyone with any ounce of common sense or logic these two words bring about anger, annoyance and frustration. Total disclosure: if you’re reading this and have become completely offended or say something along the lines of “My parents chose not to vaccinate me and I’m fine!” or “Why should I let the government control what I put into my body! Vaccines are only a source of profit for big pharmaceutical companies!”, I don’t care. Your selfishness and stupidity are not only putting the lives of your children at risk but also the lives of people with weakened immune systems.
However, if you are still doubtful of why you should vaccinate let me explain to you in simple terms the consequences of not doing so.
Firstly if you do not vaccinate your child, your child is more susceptible to highly contagious, and potentially life threatening diseases.
Second, In order for vaccination against certain diseases to be successful the main aim is to establish and maintain a thing called herd immunity. Herd immunity is a simple concept; basically it means that in order for the larger population of a certain group to be essentially protected from a certain disease, approximately 90% of the population has to be immune to the causative agent of the disease.
This is generally done by vaccinations, as the introduction of usually dead pathogens to your body allows the immune system to recognise the pathogen, and thereby this allows the body to learn the potential threat and kill and dispose of this threat appropriately.
The purpose of herd immunity proposes that if 90% of a population is immune, the pathogen can no longer find other hosts and dies out in the host it is entrapped in, because it cannot infect other people.The problem with anti vaxxers is that they can substantially decrease the percentage of the population that is immune to a potential disease.
This becomes a massive issue, as the people who consciously choose not to vaccinate threaten the lives of people who have weakened immune systems, or are immunosuppressed. Such people include: babies who cannot be vaccinated because they are not old enough to receive vaccinations, pregnant women, the elderly, as well as people who cannot receive vaccines because they are in a severe medical condition such as leukemia and other cancers, as well as those living with HIV.
The major problem becomes when you realise that diseases that used to be considered ‘old’ or ‘of the past’ can once again take a foothold in the population because of the lack people who are immunised, more people are now vulnerable to contracting the disease. Diseases that were once controlled or were close being considered a potential candidate to eradicate altogether can now establish once again in the population. For example whooping cough, rubella, measles and tuberculosis are all making a come back.
However the federal government wants to restrict and deny welfare benefits including childcare payments and the Family Tax Benefit supplements to parents who choose not to vaccinate their child from 2016 onwards.
Choosing not to vaccinate places your sense of morals above other people’s lives. I don’t care if you disagree. This isn’t a debate, you are making the wrong decision and you should be held accountable to your actions and the reality of being responsible to being a massive threat that could ultimately end someone’s life.