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  Immunisation – Controversy
I have friend who has decided not to innoculate her baby. Now I am really afraid after all the things she has said about the safety of these injections. So are innoculations safe or not?

This is not an easy issue, and there are strong and emotive opinions on both sides of the fence. For every argument on one side, there is a strong counter argument. This is an issue which you will have to research yourself, and make your own decisions over. If you have a doctor whom you really trust, then you could ask his or her opinion. But the argument against vaccinating will say that the thoughts of doctors are strongly influenced by the drug manufacturers, who have a vested commercial interest in making sure that you baby gets vaccinated.

Consider the argument that childhood diseases have been almost eradicated in the Western world, since the advent of innoculation programmes. The counter argument would be that the introduction of innoculation programmes coincided with the rise in the living conditions of the average person in Europe and America. Thus the improved nutrition and hygiene of these populations would have led to the reduction in the incidences of childhood diseases anyway. It would be interesting to apply this argument to the drop in mortality rates for children in very poor African populations who have been innoculated.

There is a lot of concern about the link between autism and MMR innoculations. There are reports of children whose behaviour changed soon after receiving immunisation, and who were later diagnosed as autistic. The counter argument would be that it is just unfortunate that the injections coincide with the age at which autism starts to present itself. In a study done in Denmark on over half a million children, most of whom had been immunised, the results showed that the incidence of autism in this population was actually lower than the general population. However the study was later criticised as having being funded by a pharmaceutical company.

Immunised children do sometimes get these childhood diseases and this is used as a criticism of the process. The counter argument would be that they experience a far milder form of the disease than they would have had they not been immunised. This is particularly important in virulent diseases such a measles and whooping cough, which were often fatal in the not so distant past.

The argument that the vaccinations themselves contain toxic and harmful constituents is strongly denied by the manufacturers. They claim that the vaccines are safe, and carefully monitored for any aberrations in quality. How can you be sure of that? You can’t. But how would you feel if your child was adversely affected by a disease that could have been avoided had you innoculated the child? There is no easy answer. Whatever you decide, you will meet other parents who are strongly in disagreement with your decision. You will have to expect that, and once you have made a decision one way or the other, be prepared to stand by that decision.

See also:

Immunisation - Age of baby

Immunisation - Chicken Pox

Immunisation - Diphtheria

Immunisation - German Measles

Immunisation - Hepatitis A

Immunisation - Hepatitis B

Immunisation - Hib Disease

Immunisation - How does it work

Immunisation - Measles

Immunisation - Mumps

Immunisation - Pertussis

Immunisation - Polio

Immunisation - Reducing impact on baby

Immunisation - Rubella

Immunisation - Safety

Immunisation - Schedule

Immunisation - Tetanus

Immunisation - Tuberculosis

Immunisation - Varicella

Immunisation - Whooping cough

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