PARENTS

Vaccinations - Why Do Parents Refuse To Have Them?

11/05/2009 09:37 | Updated 22 May 2015

It's the best thing you can do for your child – get them vaccinated and protect them from all kinds of nasty diseases. So why is vaccination refusal becoming so common?

It can't just be because it's so horrible and feels so wrong to inflict pain on your child. No, it's not nice having your baby injected. I took my three-month-old for her second round of jabs the other day. I almost cried, and she yelled her head off.

I felt particularly sorry for the nurse. It can't be a nice job, making babies – and mothers – cry all day.

I felt even sorrier for her when I saw her next victim – a nine-week-old little girl being clutched by an enormous bloke with arms the size of tree-trunks, covered with tattoos. I wouldn't have wanted to hurt his baby...

Some parents worry about the risks. It seems wrong to them to pump their babies full of strange things. It's not natural, is it? Well no, it's not, but then if you want "natural" try looking at infant mortality rates 100 years ago, before vaccinations. It was over 10 times the current rates in industrialised nations, and in some Victorian slums half of all children would die in infancy.

Even if you are worried about jabs like MMR, it's possible to pay and have single vaccines. If you don't, you're putting other children at risk of catching what can still be dangerous diseases like measles.

I know this is a controversial topic – I have spoken to mothers in the past who are convinced their child developed autism after the MMR jab – so feel free to weigh in with your view...

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