The Immunisation Awareness Society is reminding all parents to 'investigate before you vaccinate', in light of National Immunisation Week, which starts today.
Whilst the Ministry of Health is calling for increased rates of vaccination, the IAS urges caution, and for parents to seek out information before having children vaccinated.
"Unfortunately, many parents are not given the whole truth on the matter prior to their children being injected. In New Zealand, there are rules around gaining informed consent prior to carrying out any medical procedure on a patient. However, many people are not warned of the potential dangers of vaccines, which may contain a number of highly toxic substances, allergens such as egg and soy, unidentified viral fragments and/or contaminants, and which manufacturers themselves warn in their own data sheets - available from Medsafe - can cause serious adverse effects.
“Many of these reactions go unreported in New Zealand, and those who contact us lament that many health professionals minimise the potential for these reactions when speaking to parents. Many are also unaware that vaccines have limited efficacy, with outbreaks starting and occurring frequently in vaccinated populations (including the recent pertussis outbreak), that they only target limited strains, and that live-virus vaccines such as MMR can shed and spread viruses such as measles for weeks following vaccination," says spokesperson Erin Young.
"Because of this, we urge people to seek out information before vaccinating themselves or their children - educate yourselves, read widely on both sides of the debate, and make sure you're absolutely sure of what you're doing. Our message is not ‘anti-vaccination’, but of knowing the risks and making an informed choice. Investigate before you vaccinate. There is a wealth of material available from books, the government's Medsafe website, scientific journals, and articles online, as well as anecdotal data on sites such as Youtube both for and against vaccines. Understanding the risks is an important part of giving true informed consent with any medical procedure, and vaccines are no different."