Vaccinations

Reasons to have your child vaccinated

As a parent, you may not like seeing your baby or child being given an injection. However, vaccination is an important step in protecting your child against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases.

Vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective. Once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it more effectively. If a child isn't vaccinated, they will have an increased risk of catching the illness.

There will always be some children who are unavoidably unprotected because:

  • they can't be vaccinated for medical reasons
  • they're too young to be vaccinated
  • they can't get to the vaccine services
  • the vaccine doesn't work (although this is rare)

However, if more parents have their children vaccinated, then more children in the community will be protected against an illness. This lowers the chance of an disease outbreak.

The only time that it's safe to stop vaccinating children against an illness is when the disease has been wiped out worldwide.

For example, when every country had eliminated smallpox in 1979, vaccination against the disease was stopped. It's hoped that polio will soon be eradicated and that measles will follow.

Can you overload a child's immune system?

You may be concerned that too many vaccines at a young age could "overload" your child's immune system, but this really isn't the case. Studies have shown that vaccines don't weaken a child's immune system.

As soon as a baby is born, they come into contact with a huge number of different bacteria and viruses every day, and their immune system copes well.

The bacteria and viruses used in vaccines are weakened or killed, and there are far fewer of them than the natural bugs that babies and children come into contact with. In fact, if a child was given 11 vaccines all at the same time, it would only use a thousandth of their immune system!

Watch this short animation to find out more.

Find out more about vaccine safety

Read these articles to find out more about vaccine safety plus the risks and benefits:

Vaccine risks and benefits

How do I know that vaccination is safe?

Vaccine ingredients

Vaccine myths and truths

Measles: Rachel’s story

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can cause fever, coughing and distinctive red-brown spots on the skin. Rachel’s daughter Lola contracted measles at the age of three. In this video, Rachel describes Lola's symptoms, how she was finally diagnosed with measles and the treatments she received.

Media last reviewed: 13/06/2014

Next review due: 13/06/2016

Page last reviewed: 04/04/2014

Next review due: 04/04/2016

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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

CuriousTom said on 21 April 2014

Can you list the independent testing that was carried out to back up the claim that vaccines are "safe". Are you saying that there are NO risks? Looking at the manufacturers' product leaflets, it seems they think there are risks....including the chance of contracting the very disease they are designed to protect against.

I feel I need a lot more information before injecting my child with vaccines containing the chemicals they do.

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