In case you missed it, our Prime Minister is taking a hard-line stance when it comes to kids and vaccinations. He appears keen to introduce a pretty serious “no jab, no play” policy at childcare centres across Australia.
Parents already risk losing their benefits in some states if they don’t vaccinate their children according to the schedule. Apparently, more than 140,000 parents have been cut off from receiving childcare payments for failing to vaccinate their children after this scheme was introduced.
The government is militant in enforcing the existing scheme, something I know from experience. My son had the sniffles when he was due for his 12-month-old jabs, so I postponed it for two weeks.
“Don’t leave it any longer,” warned my childcare teacher. “If you fall more than a month behind, you’ll lose your childcare entitlements and it can be a nightmare to get them back on track.”
Lesson learnt: still with the program, man.
Now, the government is proposing actually banning children who don’t vaccinate from attending childcare altogether.
It’s a bold move – though it’s one that could save lives.
Sydney mother Toni McAffrey lost her four-week-old daughter to whooping cough after an outbreak at the daycare centre where her older children attended. Toni wasn’t aware of the outbreak, and she believes an in increase in vaccinations will see these types of risks minimised.
There are others who don’t see it this way. Many people are misinformed about vaccinations because there is so much misinformation dressed up as ‘fact’ online, and it’s a bloody scary topic.
I have one friend, a non-vaccinator, who told me (when she was pregnant): “The doctor gives your child vaccinations and then sends you on your way, without educating you about the risks or possible reactions. It’s so dangerous!”
I politely explained that this has never been my experience. My doctor and nurse always go through the full list of vaccinations and provide a sheet outlining potential reactions. I’m also required to wait in the surgery for 30-40 minutes after the shots, so they can monitor for any potential negative effects.
“Well, you were lucky,” she said sagely. “That’s not what normally happens.”
I wondered how she could possibly know this – being pregnant, and never having had a child who has gone through the vaccinations program, what actual experience did she have with this? All of her opinions were gleaned from online forums.
But, such is life when it comes to vaccinations. People have passionate opinions, and they’re not afraid to share them. If Turnbull’s plan turns into action, I can only imagine how much louder those opinions will become.