I ACTUALLY had a whole list of gripes to rage about today.
But they’re taking a back seat now. Because photos of a beautiful, sweet little baby boy started flooding my Facebook feed and internet news pages.
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In case you’re not aware, his name is Riley and he’s a precious, tiny four-week-old boy who died who this week of whopping cough.
Look, I’ve had countless conversations with friends over the years about childhood vaccinations. I’m always respectful of other people’s opinions and I understand why parents may have some reservations about giving their kids jabs.
If I’m being 100 per cent truthful, I even get a little nervous when I take my children to the doctor to get vaccinated. I know it’s the right thing to do, but there’s always that tiny voice reminding me that in one out of a million cases, a child reacts badly to the vaccination… and what if my child is that one in a million?
But then I remember. I remember what it’s like to have a four-week-old baby hospitalised with viral meningitis, and I know I would do anything to prevent my child (or anyone else’s) from going through that if I could.
And I also realise that every time we bundle our kids up and strap them into their car seats, we run the risk of being in a horrific car accident.
It’s a tiny, minute, one in a million risk. And of course, we minimise the chance of a negative outcome where we can by wearing seatbelts, using carseats, and driving carefully and within the speed limit.
But it’s a real and present risk – yet it doesn’t stop us from driving our kids around.
So why does the same tiny, infinitesimal level of risk of a negative reaction prevent so many parents from inoculating their children?
It absolutely reeks of first-world privilege! Modern Australian parents debate the luxury of vaccinations – and it is a luxury – like they’re discussing the pros and cons of borrowing a second-hand pram. Meanwhile, can you imagine how much a parent in a third world country would give to be able to vaccinate their child?!
It is mind-boggling. And for Riley’s devastated parents and family, it’s beyond tragic.
Herd immunity is essential. So parents of the Gold Coast, I implore you: if you don’t currently vaccinate yourself and your children, please reconsider. I’m not being dramatic when I say that little lives hang in the balance, and they need every bit of protection they can get.
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