Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed messages they are exposed to and want to do the best for their children.
We cannot say whether vaccines are safeShow moreShow less
It is a fundamental right of parents to make decisions about their child’s welfare.
For accurate information on the efficiency of vaccines, consult the WHO website.
Vaccines have been so successful at reducing disease that we are rarely confronted with their devastating effects. The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource to Your Child’s First Four Years (Haelle & Willingham), says it’s important that we change the way we communicate about vaccine hesitancy, and start responding with empathy to those parents who are “utterly terrified of doing the wrong thing — of harming their child when all they want to do is protect them.” Vitriolic and accusatory attacks are counterproductive, widening the divide between those who vaccinate confidently, and those with concerns, she says. “If we’re going to address vaccine hesitancy, we have to address the underlying processes that lead people to believe in fears lacking any scientific basis.”
[P1] Parents with vaccine hesitancy are bullied into a more entrenched position by societal disapproval.