View Poll Results: Do You Think Childhood Vaccinations Should Be Compulsory?

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  • Yes

    56 33.53%
  • Undecided

    17 10.18%
  • No

    94 56.29%
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Thread: Do You Think Childhood Vaccinations Should Be Compulsory?

  1. #55

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    I agree with you nickle73 as well, and yes better hygiene will slow the spread of some diseases but not eradicate them. Measles is airborne, as was smallpox.


  2. #56

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    I guess I see the issue here as not being for or against immunisation, but rather it is about human rights. I start to worry when the gov't stops trusting people to think for themselves and feels the need to impose on them. I also worry about where it will go because once that right is removed, it is easier to change things so in the end it doesn't really resemble what people thought they were agreeing to. I want the option to choose each time, every time.

    I also have a problem with it being a criminal act to excercise a choice not to have medical intervention - the women on here that choose not to vax their kids are well informed, intelligent women (as are the women that do vax their kids) and it would be a tragedy to label them as criminals because they feel the risk outweighs the benefits. I can't think of any other medical procedure that is forced on anyone, at anytime. I don't think any of us (on BB anyway) enter into our decision about vax lightly and we should be entitled to make that choice.

  3. #57

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    Definitely not, thats like forcing everyone to eat only brown M&Ms, you cannot take away the basic right of choice.

    Look we have Vaxed our kids...DS2 is delayed by choice....BOTH decison were informed and Educated...I really dont believe that the government is out to hurt people in this statement they are just trying to work out what is bst(and we all know that sometimes they are waaaay wrong:P )..maybe i am niave but...I also dont think Vaxs were created to harm anyone either!

    But you cannot take away choice!

  4. #58

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    I don't think the gov't intentionally uses vaxes to harm people either - but they aren't foolproof and there are people in our soceity that are at more risk receiving the vax than they would be or would pose without it. If I was the mother of a child at risk, I wouldn't want to jump through hoops to stop my child from being put at that kind of risk. I think consciencous objectors have to jump through enough hoops as it is, I can't imagine how much worse it would be if it was compulsory and how stressful it would be if you believed that the vax could possible cause your child to have a disability or worse, die.

    Vaccine info pamphlets lists some pretty significant side effects for some people, though currently the percentage is very very small. I have to wonder though, if it became compulsory, and everyone was forced to vax, how much the side effect percentage would rise because parents that believed their children were at risk were suddenly forced to vax. If compulsory vax meant very very few exemptions, there could be a huge rise in the side effects experienced.

  5. #59

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    Big Pharma is slack and poorly testing already... imagine if they had law on their side too.... would get even more sloppy I reckon.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

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  6. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickle730 View Post
    Vaccinating is not just about protecting the vaccinated child, but about protecting those in our community whom are most vulnerable to disease - the young, the elderly and the immuno-suppressed.
    I'll join you under the chair if need be. This is such a tricky area, and while I am all for freedom of choice, I do believe that the decision not to vaccinate is not just about the individual, but the broader community. Like you said, immunisations protect the weakest in our community. I can't imagine how I would feel if a baby of mine caught measles (or some nasty) from a child who wasn't immunised. Even if it wasn't a fatal outcome, I don't know if I would be able to forgive the parent of the child who wasn't immunised and passed the disease on to my baby.

    In most cases these diseases are contagious well before they show any symptons, so they can be caught anywhere, passing through a childcare centre, the park, the supermarket, a play date...

    I have to put it out there - how would you feel if your non-immunised child got something like measles and passed it on to a friends 6 week old baby before you even knew they had it? Imagine if that little baby didn't survive it because they weren't as strong as your 6 or 7 year old (or whatever age) child... Would you be able to forgive yourself?

    I initially voted yes (and TBH after re-evaluating and reading the subsequent posts, wish I had of voted 'no' because I believe in freedom of choice) because I believe that vaccination is about the community, not the individual. Until my DS has been vaccinated for certain things I don't want him being exposed to older children who haven't been vaccinated for illnesses he is yet to be vaccinated against for the reasons outlined above. After he's had his vaccination I couldn't care less, but before he is ready for them he is at risk because of someone elses decision. But I can't protect him from this because we can encounter these risks anywhere, another child in the supermarket que, at the park, or even at childcare...

    Anyway, that's just my POV...

  7. #61

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    Before I say this, I have not voted as I am undecided about whether vax should be compulsory. And in general I think if we could trust people to do the responsible thing all the time (which includes researching and making a choice) then there would not have to be legislation.
    The government does legislate to protect the community against people doing the wrong thing. For instance, speeding on the roads, if 55% of the population decided to speed, there would be chaos on the roads. So legislation makes people think twice about it. Having a majority of people doing the "safe" thing for the community protects everyone else. Maybe not a good analogy but I think it sort of applies to immunisation as well.

  8. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Me View Post
    I don't think the gov't intentionally uses vaxes to harm people either - but they aren't foolproof and there are people in our soceity that are at more risk receiving the vax than they would be or would pose without it. If I was the mother of a child at risk, I wouldn't want to jump through hoops to stop my child from being put at that kind of risk. I think consciencous objectors have to jump through enough hoops as it is, I can't imagine how much worse it would be if it was compulsory and how stressful it would be if you believed that the vax could possible cause your child to have a disability or worse, die.

    Vaccine info pamphlets lists some pretty significant side effects for some people, though currently the percentage is very very small. I have to wonder though, if it became compulsory, and everyone was forced to vax, how much the side effect percentage would rise because parents that believed their children were at risk were suddenly forced to vax. If compulsory vax meant very very few exemptions, there could be a huge rise in the side effects experienced.
    I don't think the rate increase would be that huge. The average child vaccination rate for australia this year so far is over 90% for children under 27 months, and just under 90% for those over that age, so if the rate of side effects increases at the same rate as the amount of vaccinations increase, that is an increase of less then 10%.

  9. #63

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    I agree with Kelly and just love how this sensitive discussion has been conducted so respectfully!

    I voted as "Undecided". Nickle essentially summed it up for me too. I am personally against our country becoming a Nanny State but there are so many aspects of life that are getting so much more complex as our population grows. Sadly a larger and higher density population (living in a manner that nature did not intend) has it's sacrifices and this COULD be one of them... vaccination.

    I liken it to seat belt use. It's compulsory. We are not given a choice. We must wear a seat belt... and we are having to spend a lot of money on more and more complex car seats for our kids. I can remember a time when kids didn't have to be placed in capsules and car seats. I was born in 1969. Now there have been reported cases of children being injured and even killed due to wearing a seatbelt (admittedly incorrectly in most cases)... this is such a tragedy. However looking at the bigger picture selt belt use has saved more lives than harmed. Our roads are becoming such fast and intense places compared to the slower pace of the 1960s and 70s. Roads these days are made for speed... so nicely laid out and smooth... not the bumpy twisty turny roads that i remember being driven along as a child... they've all been smoothed out to allow the cars go faster and so the driver doesn't have to actually concentrate as hard... hmmm... many would argue that a road that requires concentration is safer than one that is so smooth you get so bored you nod off (and doing three times the speed you would be than on the twisty one)!

    Ok so my analogy may be flawed and weak... but essentially what i am trying to say is that I immunise my kids and myself as a defence against the unnatural situation we live in, our high density city. The reason I am undecided though is because at the end of the day people ought to be be able to heed their intuition. I AM uncomfortable at the idea of a government legislating vaccination... that takes away personal responsibility which is never a good thing. It's tricky...
    Last edited by Bathsheba; August 2nd, 2010 at 09:45 PM.

  10. #64

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    I guess the thing about speed and seatbelts is that it is legislating something that happens externally to ourselves. If we really have a problem with it, we don't drive a car. Vaccination legislation is legislating something internal to ourselves. If we want to live in this country and raise our kids here, we have to permit to something being done to our bodies - and we have no say - which is why I am fundamentally against it but have no objection to road safety laws

  11. #65

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    This is definitely a human rights issue. The gvt cannot impose this on people, surely.

    I think that immunisations are important, some of these diseases are slowly rearing their ugly heads again - but will do so with or without vaccines anyway - but that is just my thoughts.

    Sue x

  12. #66

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    I am against mandatory vaccination.

    I think this strike against one of the most inalienable rights we have as parents - the right to elect what substances we expose our children too.

    The theory of herd immunity is often used as a good example of why vaccination should be promoted, but in reality, there is one flaw to that theory - it relies on vaccines being near to 100% effective. Some vaccines aren't. Pertussis, for example, is at best 90% effective, lower in some studies, and new evidence indicates that the bordetella pertussis bacteria may be appearing in new forms which the vaccines does not provide immunity against. Vaccination is not a substitution for good and careful personal hygeiene, and this is doubly important for those people in the community who are immunosuppressed. Imagining that mandatory vaccination would provide a new measure of protection for vulnerable members of the community such as these is unwise.

    I accept that some people see vaccination as being "socially responsible", but in my experience, parents are willing to subject their children to procedures or interventions that are "socially responsible" only as long as these interventions are compatible with their general world view. Once they are asked to do something to their child they do not agree with for the sake of "social responsibility", their regard for social responsibility tends to evaporate fairly rapidly.

    I think vaccination is good public health strategy, but when it becomes mandated it suddenly becomes very, very bad. There are all sorts of legitimate reasons why vaccination is not the best choice for a person. I already work in the only profession in the only country in the world that has made vaccination mandatory. I cope with that, because as an adult I feel the risks are minimal and because I have a choice (even though it is not necessarily a very good one) - I can always leave the profession. But my children don't have a choice not to be children, and for that reason, vaccinations should not be mandated. Fear-mongering has already robbed me of the choice of where to give birth, as the perfectly safe and evidence-based option to have a homebirth with a trained and qualified midwife of my choosing is now virtually illegal in Australia. It should not lead to the government dictating what medications I give my child. Informed consent is the very backbone of patient centred care, and the decision to mandate immunisation would remove my right to consent.

    That's what I think.

  13. #67

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    :yeahthat:

    Thanks Michael.

  14. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by meow View Post
    Really? Without a COF? I get the CCR now, but I have signed a COF.
    I have a COF as well - he was only vaccinated to 6 months and then I lodged the form.

  15. #69

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    Just Me: But both situations are pertaining to human health. I don't have my drivers license... but if I wanted to avoid wearing a seat belt as a passenger I still couldn't do it... there is no opting out. I use public transport alot (almost daily) because I believe it's safer than private car travel though... for me and my children. But along with transport our lives ARE getting more and more complex and complexity means more rules. Unless you want to opt out of the complexity. And that's the question... how does a family balance living in an unnatural high density environment and the risks of such a lifestyle? How does the average family feel about having the choice of having clean air taken away from them? Why are the heavy metals and chemicals our children breathe in as we walk them along a busy road (and BTW the levels are higher inside your car) less worrying than the heavy metals and chemicals in the vaccinations we receive? I don't get that we are accepting of some sacrifices and not others. I get really angry when people take my choice to breathe clean air away simply because they choose to drive to the corner store or school or work when they could walk. I still remain "undecided" though. My thoughts are a work in progress.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; August 2nd, 2010 at 10:11 PM.

  16. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss E View Post


    I have to put it out there - how would you feel if your non-immunised child got something like measles and passed it on to a friends 6 week old baby before you even knew they had it? Imagine if that little baby didn't survive it because they weren't as strong as your 6 or 7 year old (or whatever age) child... Would you be able to forgive yourself?
    I'd be more devastated if one of my vaccinated children (I do have fully and partially vaccinated children) passed on something like that simply because I falsely believed that they were immunised.

    The thing is, immunisations are not full protection. Their effectiveness can weaken over time so how do you know that your supposedly vaccinated children aren't the ones spreading the disease/illness to the weak and compromised? If anything, this utopian idea of immunisation can cause people to be careless because they assume that once the injection has been given, that it is OK, their children are fine to be around immunosuppressed people and that they will never catch, nor pass on illness, but the reality is that they may be no safer around these children than those who have never had a vaccination in their life. It is a rather poor reason to force compulsory vaccination on people.

    ETA - when you think about it, what is the point of vaccinations anyway? You have them, but how many have ever taken themselves or their children back to test to see how effective they were? If the Govt planned to introduce mandatory vaccinations to reduce or completely eradicate diseases, there would be a bigger push towards booster shots for ALL vaccinations and routine testing to check for effectiveness otherwise the entire exercise is pointless.

    SO back to the topic it still comes down to what your rights are as a parent, and as several have said, no matter which side you sit on, you have to support the right of the parents to choose. It is easy to agree with it if it is something you agree with already, but what if this progresses further? Where does it end?
    Last edited by Trillian; August 2nd, 2010 at 10:24 PM.

  17. #71

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    It is not the vaccination that loses effectiveness over time, it is the fact that the immune system "forgets" over time. Which is why they reccomend booster shots and that there are very few vaccines that are only given once. Catching diptheria naturally does not give you lifelong immunity so why would having a vaccination against it give you lifelong immunity? Actually having whooping cough does not give you lifelong immunity, nor will the vaccine, again why they reccomend you have regular booster shots. the same with tetanus. If the full strength wild strains wont give you life long protection you can't expect the vaccines to, it is an unfair ideal for them to live up to.

  18. #72

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    Whilst I completely understand the concept of "herd immunity" I also believe that there are flaws in the theory due to the limitation of the vaccines. If the vaccines were all proven completely safe and 100% effective I'd be the first in line to get it for my kids. But until that time there is a tough decision that needs to be made by parents and it's my believe that that choice should never be taken away. My DS is at a higher risk for some of the possible risks of some of the vaccines, so at this point in time my choice is still to not vaccinate.

    It's actually coincidental that I would post in this thread today. My 10 year old DSS has been coughing for almost 4 weeks, and after 4 doctors and 2 hospital visits, the Royal Children's Hospital has diagnosed him with possible whooping cough. Now apparently he is no longer contagious, but my 13 year old DSS who has also started coughing may be contagious. Both the DSS's were fully vaccinated for whooping cough. My 14month old unvaccinated DS on the other hand does not have any symptoms of whooping cough.

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