What do you think about the immunisation of children against childhood diseases?
It has been in the news recently that the Government are toying with the idea of immunising children and/or the elderly against Chickenpox.
My two boys had all their jabs and had the vaccine for Chickenpox been available they would have had that too, after hearing my Dad’s account of how ill I was as a child with Chickenpox. Apparently I was near death and it was only the excellent nursing provided by my Grandmother (KIT) that saved me.
The reason behind wanting to immunise the elderly is because of the risk of Shingles, the adult form of Chickenpox, which can be even more dangerous than Chickenpox in children apparently. I know a few people who have suffered with Shingles and they vouched for how very painful it was and how ill they were, luckily they didn’t suffer any after effects.
Neither of my boys contracted Chickenpox, thankfully, but the elder did contract Measles just before he was due to be immunised. It was the most frightening experience of my life. He was so ill I really though we were going to lose him and, as it turned out, he lost the hearing in his right ear through the disease. Of course immunisation against Measles has been around for quite some time so this particular disease is not as common as it once was.
I know there has been lots of controversy about the MMR vaccine and its possible link to Autism, obviously there are parents who are convinced that the link is there, but I have not had experience of this so cannot come down on that side of the argument. However, from what I have read, the instances of a possible link to Autism are by far outweighed by the numbers of children having the vaccine that are not adversely affected, but are protected from three very serious illnesses. Obviously if you have a child who you think has developed Autism because of having had the MMR vaccine then you would give a different argument but had my two boys had doubts about having their children immunised I would have tried to persuade them to go with the vaccine.
Immunisation, in my opinion, is the best medical intervention and invention next to Penicillin, it had almost eradicated childhood diseases and made such a difference to mortality rates. Unfortunately there has been a decline in the number of parents having their children immunised and we are seeing a rise again of these very dangerous childhood diseases. I am of the opinion Prevention is better than Cure.
What’s your opinion?
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