Vaccine facts stronger than fiction

By Gemma Donohoe.

Vaccinations: controversy reigns despite science backing their effectiveness.

Medical professionals have previously described vaccinations as modern miracles.

Australia is a country which is privileged enough to have many “free” lifesaving vaccination, allowing everyone access to health. According to vaccination advocate Dr Penny Adams, immunisations save around three million lives a year.

There are many sometimes surprising pockets of the world that don’t have free-vaccination programs or little access to vaccinations. Undeveloped areas in the US and UK still battle whooping cough, with about 195,000 deaths annually, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. A further 164,000 people die from measles each year.

There is a huge volume of evidence to back up immunisations’ benefits to community, but many people still choose hysteria over fact.

Celebrities such as Jenna Elfman, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and Charlie Sheen are all celebrity anti-vaxxers. McCarthy, an actress and model, wrote a book on vaccines, suggesting they caused her son’s autism, but she could offer no scientific evidence backing up any of her statements.

Their position is infectious and everyday people are not immune, with a Cini Walker and Marc Steven taking their four-year-old disabled child Chase from hospital last month because they claimed vaccines were “killing” him. The boy suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy and requires constant medical attention. For him to be away from immediate medical attention is extremely dangerous. He is now back in hospital under police guard. The mother claimed that when he was born, Chase was given vaccinations, which resulted in his autism, and that continued vaccinations are worsening his health.

The Queensland Government’s website vaccinate.initiatives.qld.gov.au has a whole page dedicated to facts, and clearly states that vaccination does not cause autism, allergies, asthma or SIDS.

A mother of two in NSW Heidi Street has also said she intends to open up her own vaccine-free childcare centre. This comes after NSW extended “No Jab, No Play” laws, which could see children turned away from childcare centres if they are unimmunised. In her Facebook post, Street claims that she will teach the kids by nature with walks to the beach, learning through play and games as well as art, craft and yoga. However, the larger issue lies within the rest of the community.

The Queensland government page on vaccinations states that Queensland’s childhood immunisation rate is sitting at 90 per cent, which is below the 95 per cent needed for “herd immunity”. Herd immunity can protect the children undergoing chemo, the elderly whose immune systems are weak and others who can’t be immunised for medical reasons.

Vaccinations have a success rate of 85-95 per cent effectiveness. When will people listen to the facts instead of fiction?

 

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