Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Children hurt, not helped by Australian vaccination policy

The anti-vaccination movement has been gaining momentum, and many parents are choosing to opt out of giving their children vaccines. The trend, which originally began in 1998, is due to parents believing vaccinations lead to conditions such as Autism and cervical cancer. Parents who refuse the vaccinations are referred to as ‘anti-vaxxers’.
Exposing their children to diseases such as Polio, measles, and influenza is being regarded as highly irresponsible and dangerous on account of the parents.
Many are outraged and scared of the consequences of this trend, and it is feared that a child without a vaccination could catch a serious illness and then spread it to other children without these vaccinations.
It is a scary concept, and unfortunately there have already been several cases where this scenario ended up happening.
Tara Hills, a mother of seven young children from Canada, was an anti-vaxxer until everyone of her children developed a severe case of whooping cough at the same time. According to Daily Mail News, her eldest two are beginning to recover, but the rest are still battling the illness.
Parents do and should have the right to choose what they expose their children to, but consequences such as this should be taken into heavy consideration before choosing to deny a child a vaccine.
While the US does require certain vaccinations for children in public schools, they do not actively enforce parents to vaccinate their children. Australia, however, is imposing a new “no jab, no pay” policy regarding parents eligibility to receive certain benefits from the government.
The policy would allow the government to deny parents “welfare and child care benefits of up to $11,500 a year”, according to an article featured on Al Jazeera America.
The policy is meant to help protect children from dangerous diseases that their parents are refusing to vaccinate against, but it seems to be a way to threaten parents into vaccinations.
It is understandable that the Australian government wants to protect the children, but to threaten its own people through refusing welfare that they need is the completely wrong way to do so.
Instead of imposing this policy, which is set to go into effect in 2016, the Australian government should increase awareness of the dangers of anti-vaxxing.
A campaign could be set up to inform parents across the country the pros and cons of anti-vaxxing. This would advise parents of the risks involved with refusing vaccinations without having to threaten them.
Some people do agree with Australia’s new policy, and are questioning whether or not the US government should take the same actions against anti-vaxxers.
In my opinion, absolutely not. As I said before it’s seen as a way of threatening these parents into vaccinations, and this is borderline inhumane.
If the US government should consider taking actions against anti-vaxxers, I offer the same solution as I do for the Australian government.

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Children hurt, not helped by Australian vaccination policy