Another wake-up call for those against vaccination

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Occasionally one sees stories like this, which, as my wife put it, “takes the debate from the esoteric to the punch-in-the-guts“.

It’s another sad testimony from a victim of pertussis (whooping cough) – an entirely vaccine-preventable illness. The story is written by the mother of the infant, which died 27 days after being born, because the mother didn’t have immunity to this nasty disease.

The introduction to this article sets the scene for us:

Western Australia is in the midst of a whooping cough epidemic. More than 1500 cases have been recorded so far this year – 1000 more than at the same time last year, and almost 1400 more than in 2010. The highest rates are in primary school-aged children. Only 87% of 5-7 year olds in WA are fully immunised when they start school, contributing to a lack of immunity among the community for the deadly disease.

The victims are often those who can’t be immunised, like newborn babies. Chelsey Charles has experienced what no mother should ever have to, after her daughter contracted whooping cough after birth.

Chelsey Charles goes on to tell us what transpired in those 27 days. She closes with the following appeal:

I’m doing my best to educate the world by telling Kaliah’s story. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is very dangerous for infants because they can’t be vaccinated until they’re eight weeks old. This means newborns don’t have a fighting chance. The best way to keep the babies safe is to get vaccinated – and the more people are vaccinated, the better it will be.

If you’re against vaccination or just aren’t vaccinated, I really hope my little girl’s story changed your mind. Whooping cough spreads very quickly. To protect babies everywhere please get vaccinated.

If you’re one of those ill-formed, or simply weak-minded, individuals who believe that you have a right to not vaccinate you and your children, or worse, that no-one should vaccinate themselves or their children, then please take note: the medical evidence is overwhelming that vaccination is a great thing, and that any risks are far outweighed by the benefits to individuals and to society. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that vaccination is one of the most important developments every conceived by humans, ranking right up there with the germ theory of illness.

For everyone’s sake, if you’re in any doubt, please consult experts – as many of them as you like, but do it. DO NOT be led by the host of cranks which inhabit the internet, espousing the dubious theories. And certainly do not be led by your ‘mommy instinct’, made famous by Jennifer McCarthy in the US.

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