Difficult choices. Measles, Immunisations & Those With No Choice.


photo by Sanofi Pasteur via PhotoRee

Today Sky reported that during the first three months of 2011 we had almost as many cases of Measles than we did in the whole of 2010. Worrying figures! The rise is being put down to people not having their children immunised against the disease which can, in cases, be serious enough to cause death.

I am a strong supporter of the Save The Children UK campaign “No Child Is Born To Die“. Campaigners are frantically drumming up support so that vital changes can be made at the Global Immunisation Summit next month. Changes that will literally save millions of lives. Parents in some areas of the world are watching their children die needlessly because vaccinations just aren’t available for them. A sobering thought.

These two cases are world apart and yet my views are conflicted. I firmly believe that children across the globe should have access to these life-saving jabs. I also believe as a parent you have to do what you believe is right for your children. A curious one. The MMR jab became something to be feared after the legendary (and later discredited) paper linking Autism and MMR was published, with some parents opting for single jabs and some deciding not to immunise at all. It was a fraught and worrying time for many parents and in my opinion, the way the whole issue was publicised and poorly handled in some quarters didn’t help. I worked for the National Autistic Society at the time and I can’t tell you the amount of phonecalls we received looking for more information, and in some cases reassurance that parents hadn’t “caused” autism by taking their children to be immunised.

Both of my children have had their jabs, there was never a doubt for me. These potentially life-saving injections are available to my family and we made the decision to follow the NHS program (more info on the NHS program can be found here). This is our choice and the the choice all parents have; but many are now shouting down parents who chose/choose to do differently. Parenting is not cut & dried, and not all choices are easy ones.

This BBC news story may be of interest for anyone who is unaware of what the MMR / Autism debate was about.

It’s a tough one. I campaign for change for those who are crying out for vaccinations, I chose to immunise my boys and support the NHS immunisation scheme, but I am also a Mum and fully understand a parent’s concerns about vaccinations and support their rights to choose what they feel is best. Is there a right answer; a right way forward with this?

A perplexing one for me, so early on a Saturday morning. I’d love to hear your thoughts, did you chose not to vaccinate and are you still happy now with that decision? If you did vaccinate – are you confident now you made the right choice? I’d love to hear your points of view.

*Curly&Candid is about being Candid but not about bullying, please respect other people’s views*