Whooping Cough

It’s an anxious moment for many parents; rolling up the sleeve of your precious baby and presenting that perfect skin to the doctor’s needle.

It better be a bloody big lollipop. Pic: Lyndon Mechielsen

And the sting is the least of your worries; we may be rational and sensible enough to know vaccinating our kids against potentially fatal diseases is right, for them and the community, but that cocktail of antigens going into their arm is a discomforting sight.

What if we’re the one in a million whose baby has an adverse reaction or gets the rarest side-effects?

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One day the Government may need to stage an intervention in Sydney’s plushest suburbs, Byron Bay’s glorious expanse, and the genteel landscape of the Adelaide Hills.

Nothing to be afraid of, son. Illustration: John Tiedemann

These are the places where some children’s lives are at risk because parents have entirely lost trust in governments, and are turning to some dodgy alternative sources of health information.

Studies by the Federal health department, CSIRO and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance have shown that while overall Australia’s uptake of vaccination is good – mostly around 90 per cent for children - in certain regions the levels of conscientious objectors have soared, resulting in clusters of deadly diseases.

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    10:19pm | 28/07/11

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