Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are akin to child abusers.
But on an even broader scale, because not only are they guilty of neglecting the safety and wellbeing of their own kids, but they also exposing other children to a raft of preventable diseases.
And perhaps now is the time for serious discussions to occur about whether our legislatures make child vaccinations compulsory. Much like pool fencing or seatbelts. Or sending your child to school.
Because I have lost faith in our ability as a human race to instil logic into people whose preconceived notions surrounding immunisations will never, ever be shifted. Probably not unless one of them loses a child to a preventable disease. But even then I dare say they’d remain crackpot vaccination conspiracists.
It’s an argument that is effectively not worth having anymore as you’d get more traction from some sustained head banging against a wall.
Victoria and New South Wales have pioneered the way by introducing a No Jab No Play policy which sees children who are unvaccinated for non-medical reasons banned from attending child care or early schooling.
But given the rest of the country remains non-committal about introducing this, it seems highly unlikely the terrain of mandatory vaccinations is an area anyone would tread.
But as we stare down the barrel of yet another outbreak of a preventable disease — this time the potentially deadly measles — maybe it’s time our policies become a bit more hard-core.
Health authorities are this week accusing anti-vaccination campaigners of causing the latest outbreak of measles in Melbourne.
Measles should not exist in our society today. It is a highly infectious viral illness that can be fatal for babies in particular as it can lead to brain inflammation. But once upon a time we’d all but conquered it.
Experts say this latest outbreak is a direct correlation to anti-vaccination campaigners in the suburb of Brunswick. And because other jurisdictions tend to follow trends, it’s likely the outbreak will spread to the rest of the country.
And anyone who says measles is a simple childhood illness that “toughens up the immune system” of children need only look to the case of a Darwin baby who became so gravely ill when he contracted measles 18 months ago he ended up in intensive care. The six-month-old likely caught the incredibly contagious illness while at a Darwin shopping centre with his mum.
This incident also serves as another vital reminder of herd immunity and should shut up those who cry “well if your kid is immunised then what do you have to worry about”.
At only 6 months of age this baby was too young to be fully vaccinated so relied on others through the principle of herd community to help keep him protected.
In Melbourne right now many parents are saying they refuse to take young babies out in public. What a sad world we’ve become if mums become prisoners inside the home for fear of their babies contracting a preventable illness because a bunch of imbeciles refuse to do what is right for the most indefensible human beings.
To think we are lucky enough to live in a country where we have access to free vaccinations yet there are people turning their noses up at this. I’d love to plonk some of these parents into a country that is seeing polio run rampant — yes a disease that was wiped out of developed countries 50 years ago because of vaccinations — to give them a good hard dose of reality.
Sadly however some views and ideologies are too far ingrained.
And on that note I leave you with a comment left by a reader on the bottom of a story I reported on last week about a mum whose 13 month old became unwell after contracting whooping cough recently — the same respiratory infection that killed baby Riley Hughes less than a year ago.
“So sorry for their loss. But, I won’t be compromising mine or my family’s immune systems or our future generation for the sake of a few that might catch it. Sorry, but God’s creation of our immune system can’t be arrogantly tampered with. OKAY?”
**Walks away and silently bangs head against a wall**