Vaccinations the miracle innovation by renowned scientist Edward Jenner who in 1796 created a vaccine of immunity against smallpox using cowpox material. Through this historical invention brought the global eradication of the infectious smallpox disease which killed an estimated 300 million people worldwide (Flight, 2011). In the years that followed further antitoxins and vaccines against various infectious diseases were developed. Our immune system is compiled of antibodies which protects our body against infection. Through these antibodies we gain immunity against diseases, this is either naturally or through the administration of a vaccine. Each vaccine contains a partial or inactivated toxin of the disease. Therefore, causing the immune system to respond to the disease and create antibodies not only to prevent us from catching the infectious disease but also to eradicate it from within our immune system, preventing future infection . Vaccinations are a crucial element for the elimination of the once deadly infectious diseases which ravaged both Australia and the world, therefore vaccinations should be compulsory for Australian children who are to attend school not only for the protection of their own immune system but for those that they may have become immunosuppressed or immunocompromised due to pre-existing medical conditions. However, despite the numerous recorded health benefiting properties of vaccinations parents are still considerably hesitant and distrustful of the effectiveness of vaccinations
Australian legislation “No Jab, No Pay” of 2015 compromised a family’s eligibility of federal benefits worth up to AU $19728.75 (US $15 000) per child each year depending on the immunization status of the family . This law also removed the possibility of religious and personal exceptions only allowing the exception on medical grounds due to an allergic reaction or immunocompromising conditions preventing the administration of the vaccine. The “No Jab, No Pay” legislation is a significant embodiment of the compulsory action which should be implemented within our school’s education system. So far in Australia, 3 of our 6 states and 2 territories have established vaccine requirements before a child is accepted to attend school.
The potential of an infectious disease outbreak is more prominent with in society than we would presume. During 2014 – 2015 a deadly measles outbreak affecting 125 American residence due to vast magnitude of unvaccinated children within the American population. This has a significant impact for immunosuppressed or immunocompromised paediatric and cancer patients, therefore vaccinations are essential due to contributing to the protection against vaccine-preventable diseases for immunocompromised patients.
The medical properties and effectiveness of vaccinations have been speculated and debated since the innovation of the first vaccination in 1796 . But why exactly are parents so hesitant to vaccinate their children? We will review the reasoning of vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing parents who believe more respectful and effective interventions such as complementary healthcare can contribute to their children’s health. Authors who conducted the study collected their data through a qualitative, methodological approach, using semi-structured interviews to understand parental decisions towards childhood vaccinations and the influences which contribute to their hesitancy to vaccinate.