Mum rules out jab for child
WHEN Bargara resident Leanne Toy gave birth to her daughter 10 years ago, she decided vaccinations for the new addition to the family were out.
And when she looks at her happy and healthy daughter Bella, she has no regrets about that decision.
While medical experts are urging parents to ensure their pre-school children have their full complement of vaccinations before the school year starts this week, Ms Toy went the other way.
Australian General Practice Network chairman Dr Emil Djakic warned last week Australia was facing the re-emergence of diseases not seen in wide circulation for decades with childhood vaccination on the decline.
Dr Djakic warned the nation’s vaccination rate was now at a seven-year low, with 83% of four-year-olds covered – below the level of 90% which assured good community-wide disease protection.
But Ms Toy said she had some concerns about vaccination before she had her child.
“I did some research on it and talked to doctors who didn’t vaccinate their children,” she said.
“I just trusted in my health and my baby’s health. I didn’t want to mess with her natural immune system.”
Ms Toy said she had homeopathic remedies as a back-up, which she conceded most doctors regarded as the equivalent of doing nothing.
“It was not something I did lightly,” she said.
“There is an argument vaccination doesn’t work anyway.”
Ms Toy said she believed if she made sure everyone in the family was getting proper nutrition, the risk from not being vaccinated was small.
“I feel I’ve done the right thing by Bella because she’s never had antibiotics in her life, and that’s rare,” she said.
Dr Djakic said Australia’s regime of childhood vaccinations prevented the spread of whooping cough, along with diphtheria, tetanus, polio, mumps and rubella.
Children not vaccinated also posed the threat of passing on the illnesses to adults, he said.