More Gold Coast parents choosing not to vaccinate

TO vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the age old question that keeps rearing its ugly head for new parents.

Although it’s been a raging debate for a few decades, it seems a growing number of Queensland parents are choosing not to immunise their children.

More than 4000 parents are raising ethical objections to immunisation in new data released by the National Health Performance Authority today, according to the Courier Mail.


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About 75,000 Australian children are not fully immunised, with about 15,000 of these due to their parents raising a “conscientious objection” to immunisation.

Of the top five areas for conscientious objections, four were found to be in Queensland with the Gold Coast coming in fourth, behind Brisbane (greater metro south and metro north) and the Sunshine Coast.

To be exempt from vaccination, parents need to sign a form saying they have personal, philosophical, religious or medical beliefs that vaccination should not take place.

AMA Queensland Council of General Practice chairman Dr Richard Kidd said there was evidence the risks of immunisation were much less than those of disease.

“Some of these diseases can be quite nasty, deadly diseases, and because we’ve been doing such a good job of it, there are a generation of young parents who don’t appreciate how bad the diseases are,” he said.

Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network spokeswoman Meryl Dorey said parents had valid scientific concerns that needed to be listened to.

“There seems to be an awful lot of fear mongering when it comes to these statistics and possibly a push to take away a person’s right to make these decisions,” she said.

National data showed the number of children not fully immunised dropped from 76,769 in 2011-12 to 75,002 in 2012-13.