While I was lucky and didn’t suffer any serious complications it still had a big impact. I missed weeks and even months of school and was often bed-ridden.
People might think some of these diseases aren’t serious, but they can all have severe side effects, some of which can last a lifetime.
And I still remember how horrible it was having chicken pox as a six year, with pustules everywhere – in my hair, down my throat, all over my face. Lots of people my age are scarred from scratching pox as kids, and we all have the potential of shingles to look forward to.
I’m really happy that Ainsley can be protected, thanks to vaccines that weren’t available when I was a kid. And I’m even happier that we can protect our whole community at the same time. It’s a win-win.”
“I understand that parents don’t want to put their kids at risk – being a mum myself now I would do anything to keep Ainsley safe. But the risk of having a reaction to a vaccine is really, really low, and even then side effects are almost always mild.
The risk of infectious diseases on the other hand really does worry me, especially with immunisation rates being so low in some areas that outbreaks could start happening. These diseases can and do kill children both overseas and in Australia and the last thing we should want is to let them get established in Australia again.
Some people say that it doesn’t affect anyone else if they don’t get their children immunised. As well as being wrong, that’s just plain selfish. They are relying on the rest of the community to immunise to protect their child, and putting people who genuinely can’t get immunised at unnecessary risk.
It’s not what being a community is about, and that’s why I’m proud to get my child immunised – for her, and for our community.”