Vaccine objectors rise as parents skirt ‘no jab, no play’ law

23

Conscientious objection to childhood immunisation is on the rise as parents exploit a loophole in the new ''no jab, no play'' law that allows unvaccinated children to be enrolled in childcare centres.

The federal Health Department says 3910 parents across Australia lodged a conscientious objection form last year, the highest number recorded by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register since 1999.

It takes the total number of conscientious objectors to 36,320, out of more than 2.2 million children on the register.

The highest number of objections came from NSW parents, who accounted for 9625 of the total number of conscientious objectors at the end of last year. That was 1102 more than at the end of 2012.

Under the ''no jab, no play'' law, the documents must be signed by a GP or medical practitioner. Doctors can only do so after explaining to parents the benefits and risks of immunising their children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Childcare centre operators face fines of up to $4000 if they do not keep immunisation records up to date.

Written By: Cindy Ngo
continue to source article at theage.com.au

23 COMMENTS

  1. Since when is endangering the health of your child and the children of others “conscientious objection”? Your right to make such a choice ends where my child’s right to health begins.

    As far as I’m concerned, these people should be told that their children either get the shots or stay home. Don’t want your child vaccinated? Fine. Let Grandma babysit, and sign up for those homeschool courses…and consider moving to some isolated wilderness area, so your child won’t be an infectious menace to everyone else as you shop, go to playgrounds, take in a movie, eat at restaurants, or have his little friends over to play. Sound draconian and unfair? Well, how fair is it that other kids pay with their health and lives so your little Joshy doesn’t have to get stuck with a needle?

    • In reply to #1 by Sue Blue:

      Since when is endangering the health of your child and the children of others “conscientious objection”? Your right to make such a choice ends where my child’s right to health begins.

      There’s also the interesting question of the unvaccinated child’s right to health.

      The simplest solution, in my opinion, is to vaccinate all children, unless there are compelling medical reasons not to, and to pursue negligent parents through some kind of legal sanction, such as reckless endangerment, or indeed negligence.

  2. Goddamn! If only there was a vaccine for these unsound and dangerous memes.These people are spreading their deadly ideas at a dreadfully fast rate and are trying to catapult us back to a darker and disease ridden era.This is infuriating.

  3. Although the ‘conscientious objectors’ label is a joke, the article has a silver lining. It is about parents and childcare providers making a stand against them, forcing these objectors into the shadows.

  4. Conscientious objection to childhood immunisation

    How is that conscientious objection? Conscientious objection is to war; to reduce death. These people plan the exact opposite. Sure, they “have an argument for” their position, but it’s a terrible one. Are the Amish conscientious objectors to electricity? No; they’re Luddites.

    parents exploit a loophole in the new ”no jab, no play” law that allows unvaccinated children to be enrolled in childcare centres… children who have not been vaccinated cannot be enrolled in a childcare centre unless their parents lodge documents claiming they object on philosophical or moral grounds or giving medical reasons for their failure to immunise.

    You mean, you can opt out of obeying safety laws designed in part to protect those other than yourself? Can I be a conscientious objector to airport security, yet still fly on a plane?

    Doctors can only do so after explaining to parents the benefits and risks of immunising their children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Does that include the benefits to all the other children, who will be spared exposure? The irony of parents who opt out of vaccines, thinking doing so improves safety, is that they expose their children to a danger exclusively attributable to other unvaccinated children.

    Other areas where immunisation rates were 85 per cent or lower included

    Each disease probably has its own immunisation rate in practice, and each certainly has its own required minimum immunisation rate for herd immunity to prevent an epidemic. Listing which areas have “under 85 %” (herd immunity requirements can be far higher or somewhat lower than this) is not the best way of analysing the dangers involved.

    ”The other thing to remember is that … as the population increases you’re probably going to see the number of conscientious objectors will increase,” he said.

    What’s been omitted in that ellipsis is worth knowing! Does Wood have a case for the percentage of objectors increasing with a growing population? Because an increase in the past few years is what we want to explain.

    ”Herd immunity” – where a significant proportion of the population is immunised

    Significant proportion? How about vast majority?

    doctors are not legally bound to sign conscientious objection forms if they conflict with their personal views.

    Firstly, wheels within wheels! Secondly, shouldn’t “conscientious objection forms” concerning vaccination conflict with the personal views of all doctors? If a doctor does sign such forms, s/he should be fired for the safety of unvaccinated children.

    Do you think there should be tighter restrictions on unvaccinated children attending childcare?

    I’d go so far as to say ban them altogether.

  5. This is a very new law:

    Childcare centre operators face fines of up to $4000 if they do not keep immunisation records up to date.

    From January 1, children who have not been vaccinated cannot be enrolled in a childcare centre unless their parents lodge documents claiming they object on philosophical or moral grounds or giving medical reasons for their failure to immunise. Parents can also provide documents proving their child is on a catch-up schedule if not already fully immunised.

    Childcare facilities were previously required to request an immunisation statement from parents enrolling their child but those who failed to provide one faced no enrolment restrictions.

    Interesting to note the percentage of people registering an objection is 1.64%. The number of kids not immunised is more like 5-15% I think depending on the suburb. So most people not immunised are just not getting their act together. This new law should help with that. Be interesting to see rates in a year or two.

    Nice poll attached to the article:

    Poll: Do you think there should be tighter restrictions on unvaccinated children attending childcare?

    Yes: 92%

    No: 8%

    Michael

  6. I’d like to lodge a conscientious objection, when the time comes, to my son having to go to school with any child who is unvaccinated for any reason other than a legitimate medical one. Where can I get the paperwork for that?

  7. Perhaps the parents of children who attend these could make a combined statement that unless the daycare centre insists that ALL children are vaccinated, they will as a group withdrawn their children. Let the economics of it start to bite. Is there anything in local law that prevents a daycare operator from making this a requirement ? Tell the un-vaccinated to form their own daycare, where – oh ! – science will start to show the benefits. I suspect we will see a mass outbreak of measles or something in such a daycare. Belief is one thing. Watching your child suffer for your beliefs is quite another. Then perhaps child services could step in. The threat of having your child taken away for your lack of care might help eliminate this thing. Perhaps THAT should be read out to the parents along with this other stuff.

  8. Doctors, I see, have a right not to sign conscientious objection forms where it conflicts with their own personal views.

    So which doctors think it is OK to opt out of vaccination, and why?

    Good to see from the Age’s poll that 92% think there should be tighter restrictions on unvaccinated children. At least they are not all daft.

  9. This sort of thing doesn’t happen in the UK. If an un vaccinated child is at play school, what threat is it to the children who are vaccinated?
    The hardcore people who think that it is a criminal offence not to vaccinate a child should look at their draconian attidue for what it is. People have a choice. The same applies to medical science. If I don’t like something the doctor gives me I do not have to take it. I guess this is all happening in America.

    • In reply to #11 by ikinmoore:

      If an un vaccinated child is at play school, what threat is it to the children who are vaccinated?
      The hardcore people who think that it is a criminal offence not to vaccinate a child should look at their draconian attidue for what it is…

      Your argument would be fine if vaccinations were 100% effective and herd effects weren’t important. But because herd immunity is important and vaccinations aren’t 100% effective, unvaccinated children are a hazard to a fraction of children of responsible parents who do vaccinate their children. Potential harm to others is a perfectly acceptable basis for mandatory vaccination.

      • In reply to #12 by I-am-not-a-theist:

        In reply to #11 by ikinmoore:

        If an un vaccinated child is at play school, what threat is it to the children who are vaccinated?
        The hardcore people who think that it is a criminal offence not to vaccinate a child should look at their draconian attidue for what it is…

        Your argument would be fi…

        I know you are correct but I was wondering what is the danger exactly? I can see the argument that if someone is vaccinated then they are immune anyway so what is the problem? My guess is that the answer is that for a small but non-trivial number of people there will be various reasons the vaccine may not be able to be administered or the vaccine may not be 100% effective and for those people non-vaccinated children are a risk but that is just a guess, anyone know?

    • This sort of thing doesn’t happen in the UK.

      What does that prove? I’m from the UK, but our positions on this issue are very different.

      what threat is it to the children who are vaccinated?

      That’s not the point. Unvaccinated attendees can infect each other. Such individuals can be infectious without anyone knowing it, due to incubation periods.

      people who think that it is a criminal offence not to vaccinate a child

      Either it is or it isn’t; just look up the law. This isn’t about whether the parents will be brought before a court; it’s about whether their children can attend certain events.

      [such people] should look at their draconian attidue [sic] for what it is

      Do you know what “draconian” means? “Not giving people their way” isn’t enough, especially when the reason is because people getting their way on that issue is dangerous. Draconia was a state which punished all crimes capitally. Ironically, the people most likely to selectively cause deaths of unvaccinated children, albeit unintentionally (I hope), are vaccination opponents. If no restrictions were made on the access of the unvaccinated to other people, the unvaccinated would not benefit.

      People have a choice.

      Your choices constrain mine and vice versa, so statements like that don’t determine what should and shouldn’t be allowed. Damage your own health if you must; apparently, even damaging your own children’s health is accepted, if you do it certain ways. But when you risk the health of other people’s children, then you’ve crossed the kind of line laws are for.

      If I don’t like something the doctor gives me I do not have to take it.

      No-one is being forced to take the vaccines… unfortunately. What’s happening is their access to the vulnerable is being blocked because they are deliberately making themselves a risk to others.

      I guess this is all happening in America.

      What does America have to do with this? This is a story about Australia.

  10. Another thought…..in some cases, we seem to treat our dogs better than our children. If you wish to take your dog into a chain of pet stores in Canada called PetSmart for a shampoo & trim, they refuse to accept the dog if you can’t prove it is up-to-date on all the usual shots. I also think you cannot take a dog and maybe even a cat into any number of countries unless you provide similar documentation.

  11. So…it’s against the law to endanger others by not immunizing your children. Unless, of course, you don’t agree.

    Can I concienciously object to the law prohibiting car theft? I’d be happy to sit down and pretend to listen to an explanation of how a missing car hurts a dealer’s bottom line before I take my pick.

    • In reply to #16 by Matthew Lehman:

      So…it’s against the law to endanger others by not immunizing your children. Unless, of course, you don’t agree.

      Can I concienciously object to the law prohibiting car theft? I’d be happy to sit down and pretend to listen to an explanation of how a missing car hurts a dealer’s bottom line before I take my pick.

      The difference is that when stealing a car you are clearly harming another individual. When someone makes the ignorant choice of not vaccinating they are mostly harming themselves and their children. Not completely there are issues such as herd immunity but it’s why your example is facile and not very relevant.

      • By dissecting my analogy, you have missed my point. I merely endeavored to expose the absurdity of any law to which adherence is optional. This is especially grievous in the case of a law designed to protect the public welfare, involving a procedure that can only work if a minimum (very high) percentage of the populace is vaccinated.
        In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #16 by Matthew Lehman:

        So…it’s against the law to endanger others by not immunizing your children. Unless, of course, you don’t agree.

        Can I concienciously object to the law prohibiting car theft? I’d be happy to sit down and pretend to listen to an explanation of how a missing car h…

      • In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

        Sorry but you are demonstrating a wilful disregard of the science here. Vaccines are in many cases good for a few years then they wear off, which is why say healthcare professionals often get far more boosters and top-ups than the rest of us.

        Our own general wellbeing depends on the knowledge that each succeeding cohort of children are also vaccinated, helping to stop an epidemic taking root.

        Also, some people cannot have some vaccines because they are too young. We all have an obligation to protect new-born babies as best we can.

        And some people have to postpone vaccinations, or even do without forever, because they have compromised immune systems. Maybe they are having chemotherapy for cancer. Again, we all have a social responsibility not to endanger already-vulnerable people even further.

        On any moral or ethical basis it is not a matter of choice. There is no choice, other than being stupid and selfish.

  12. One good piece of news in today’s edition of “The Australian.” India is now officially polio free, having had no cases for two years. A superb outcome in a country with such a vast population and such difficult social and administrative problems. The mind becomes dizzy at the complexity and scale of the operation. Sadly it’s an outcome which Mohammedan obscurantists have denied to the next door neighbours in Pakistan.

  13. There is at least progress in some places:-

    India hails polio-free ‘milestone’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25708715

    India is marking three years since its last reported polio case, a landmark in the global battle against the disease.

    It is seen as confirmation of one of India’s biggest public health successes, achieved through a massive and sustained immunisation programme.

    India’s health minister hailed it as a “monumental milestone”.

    Unfortunately backwardness still persists in other places, so infections could still be reintroduced elsewhere.

    In 2012 the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remain on it.

    The list refers to countries in which the virus is circulating freely and the transmission of the infectious disease has not been stopped.

    Despite India’s success, health experts fear a resurgence of polio in other parts of the world.

Leave a Reply