All new parents want to do what’s best for their child. We all understand the importance of car seats, safety gates and baby proofing our home. But, one area that continues to be a topic of debate amongst parents and the government is the importance of immunisation.
Immunisation is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your children and safeguard the health of future generations. It is estimated that vaccinations currently save up to three million lives worldwide each year.
Before the major vaccinations of the 1960s and 1970s diseases like tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough killed thousands of children each year. Today deaths from these diseases are extremely rare in Australia.
If enough people in the community are immunised, the infection can no longer spread and the disease can eventually die out. For example, smallpox was officially eradicated in 1980 after a concerted effort lead by the World Health Organisation.
Here are our top 5 reasons to protect our children through vaccination
- Immunisation can save your child’s life
Because of advances in medicine, some diseases that once resulted in death or serious illness and complications such as amputation, paralysis, hearing loss or brain damage to thousands of children, have been significantly reduced or eradicated through immunisation.
- Vaccination is very safe and effective
All vaccines used in Australia are thoroughly tested for safely and effectiveness and are rigorously tested on thousands of people in clinical trials. They are not included in the National Immunisation Program until they have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to ensure they meet strict safety guidelines. Some vaccines may cause redness or tenderness at the injection site, but these reactions are mild compared to the trauma of the disease that they are preventing.
- Immunisation protects others you care about
Immunisation protects more than just one child’s health. Vaccinating your child will reduce the opportunity for your child to pass that disease onto another – especially young babies who cannot be fully immunised as yet or those with severe allergies or weakened immune systems.
- Immunisation can save your family time and money
A family who has not vaccinated their child may not be entitled to government financial assistance through schemes such as Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate. Whilst at school, if your child is not vaccinated and becomes ill, they are more likely to be kept at home for longer resulting in potential loss of income for the parent minding the child.
- Immunisation protects future generations
Through vaccination, we are eradicating diseases that can significantly harm our children and in some cases result in death, for future generations.
In Australia, all vaccines on the National Immunisation Program Schedule are fully funded by the Federal Government. If you have any concerns about the safety of vaccination we urge you to speak with your GP or a health professional.