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To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

by Clare Deville (follow)
Editor in Chief of www.healthyhints.com.au
Children's Health (52)      Health Philosophy (23)     
Vaccination remains one of our most contentious and divisive issues. There are valid arguments from both sides of the fence which leaves many people confused. Ultimately, parents want to do what is best for their child, and that comes down to making an informed and educated decision.

Reasons for opposing vaccinations range from religious and cultural beliefs, to mistrust of pharmaceutical companies, to suspicions of vaccines themselves, and the dangers they may pose. We hear and read in the media, and from government, that vaccinations are both safe and necessary - so why should we doubt it, politicians are renowned for their honesty after all...

vaccination, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, the vaccination debate, are vaccines safe
We owe it to our children to know what goes into a vaccine

Governments maintain the absolute safety of vaccines in the face of mounting evidence that some are unsafe, and as compensation payout figures multiply. In the United States in 1988, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was founded, and according to the History of Vaccines website, 'as of December 1, 2011, the program had awarded $2.35 billion in 2,810 separate claims, including compensation for 390 deaths.' Draw your own conclusions from those statistics. In Australia no such reporting or compensation bodies currently exist.

In the spirit of education, people should be made aware that there is a safe alternative to vaccination - homeopathic immunisation (homeoprophylaxis). There are studies proving its efficacy but none which adhere to the rigorous methods of science. Homeopathy is demonised by the media but perhaps it is worth considering that over 100 million people in India choose and rely solely on homeopathic medical care.

vaccination, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, the vaccination debate, are vaccines safe
Homeopathic medicines

This article does not aim to influence readers either way, merely encourages them to conduct their own research and consider all the facts when making a decision about vaccination. For further information from both sides of the fence, check out Vaccination Awareness and the Australian Government's Immunise Australia Program.

We encourage our readers to share their thoughts or experiences regarding vaccinations by leaving a message in the Comments box.

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What is homeopathy?

#Health Philosophy
#Children's Health
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Thank you for your article on a most controversial subject. I am in my 70th year and have traveled the world with my homeopathic kit, am not taking any pharmaceutical drugs of any kind. Homeopathic remedies work for me and that 's all I like to say.

Thank you for your comments Jenny - sadly, homeopathy is highly underrated in this country!
Please, anyone that reads this article think it through carefully. People across the world would give so much to have the kind of vaccination protection we have for ourselves and our children. The decisions you make do impact on those children around you. Talk to reliable people from all backgrounds, do not rely on website articles that push one agenda under the cloak of being impartial or on websites that deal in sensationalism.

I couldn't agree more, get as much information from as many reliable sources as possible.
To suggest that this article provides impartial facts is laughable, if you set out with an agenda at least have the courage to own it. This is poorly researched, cynically written and does nothing for promoting homeopathic medicines.

Thanks for your comments Jenny.

Vaccination is a personal choice. This is a natural health website and our 'agenda' is always to inform, encourage people to be conscious of what they put into their bodies and make educated decisions.

The side of the story that says vaccinations are essential and beneficial is already well known and publicised. Here is a well researched article on numerous medical doctors who question vaccinations and present the other side of the story:

There are NOT two sides to this debate. The simple fact is that vaccinations have saved millions of lives. My very healthy 69 year old body is full of antibodies created by vaccination for diphtheria, polio, smallpox, tuberculosis, pertussis, tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever, influenza and pneumonia. If I was younger, I would also have been vaccinated against chickenpox, measles and mumps, thus saving me from several very serious and painful illnesses. If the anti-vaccination promoters think it's a good idea to see children choking to death with diphtheria (unless of course a doctor manages to cut into their trachea first), or whooping cough, or if they would like to see polio victims living in iron lungs, then I think there is something seriously wrong with them. I think we might call them sociopaths.
There are two sides to every debate, hence the word debate.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our readers.
Well, that's all credibility for this site gone. Vaccines are responsible for the elimination of polio amongst other things. What's this conspiracy theory stuff doing here? Politicians? Vaccines are championed by the entire medical profession - politicians HAVE to support it because the consequences would be too obvious otherwise. Not 100% of what you hear is a lie.

And then suggesting homeopathy as an alternative? One of the most ridiculed fields in medical history? As it was recently put "I don't see Homeopaths Without Borders lining up to cure the ebola outbreak". Homeopathy is a joke. Look for all the "alternative" stuff you want but you can never argue with the numbers. Modern medicine is amazing. Just because it fails one or two times doesn't mean the overall statistics aren't incredible. I don't think India is a good example for homeopathy - not exactly the highest health standards in the world.

And since you don't trust politicians, how about the World Health Organisation which exists solely for health reasons and has no political affiliation:

I am never reading this site again. I just hope you don't spread more lies and end up being indirectly responsible for the suffering of someone in the future.

It always baffles me that conspiracy theorists and the untrained think they somehow know better than doctors who study 8 years before they can start working in a field that has been perfected over thousands of years, from being able to cure the common cold to now being able to regrow organs in your body - and yet somehow those results don't speak for themselves and people think vaccines are some kind of scam.
Hi Dean

Thanks for your thoughts. Our response:

This article provides impartial facts, not 'lies,' and aims to present both sides of the story. Regardless of your stance on the matter there are two sides of the story or the issue would not be so contentious.

No one is saying that vaccines are a 'scam' or doubting the brilliance of modern medicine - but they are not without fault. They cannot 'cure the common cold' as you claim, but merely suppress or palliate symptoms which is entirely different from a 'cure.' They have made more than a 'mistake or two' - medication error results in 7,000 deaths per year in the United States alone (Reference: http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/12/suppl_1/i29.full).

Homeopathy may be ridiculed in Australia but the rest of the world feels very differently about the matter. If you trust the World Health Organisation, are you aware that they fully support homeopathy, stating it is the fastest-growing and second most widely used system of medicine in the world? (Reference: World Health Report, WHO Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Map Volume, 2005). And that they support a closer integration of homeopathy into conventional medicine? (Reference: http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/77%282%29160.pdf)

You are right when you say 'not 100% of what you hear is a lie,' but we maintain that not 100% of what you hear is the truth either, and it is in our own best interest to question what we are told and not follow blindly - that goes for conventional medicine and complementary medicine, and everything in between.

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