Senior health and medical researchers at the University of Wollongong have united to urge all parents to ensure their children are fully immunised.
Researchers across the University say they want parents to have the best clinical and scientific evidence to enable them to make informed decisions about what is best for their child.
The evidence is clear: immunisation protects children and saves lives, they say — while individuals may express personal opinions, the international scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports immunisation to protect children from infectious diseases.
Dr Heather Yeatman, UOW Professor of Public Health and President of the Public Health Association of Australia, says immunisation is one of the best choices parents can make. Parents should be confident that immunising children is best practice, she says.
“Along with healthy foods, hand washing and a loving environment, immunisation is one of those basic things we can do to safeguard our children’s health,” Prof Yeatman says.
“For more than 50 years children have been immunised and it is one of our best success stories in public health.
“Immunisation provides an important safeguard against infectious disease when children go to school or play with others. Immunisation is also important to protect young babies, for older adults and when people are travelling overseas.”
Large-scale immunisation programs began in the 1930s and gathered pace in the 1950s. According to the Australian Government website, Immunise Australia, this has led to a 99% drop in deaths from vaccine preventable disease.
The University came under fire last week after its School of Humanities accepted a thesis from Judy Wilyman on global conspiracy to promote vaccination.