1- Obtain the package inserts for each vaccine you are considering giving to your child or taking yourself. You can find links to the package inserts in our Vaccination Information section (they are referred to there as Data Sheets). These leaflets are produced by the vaccine manufacturers and generally contain information you should know but are usually not provided with. This includes:
(a) Vaccine ingredients. Be sure to look for metals (aluminium, mercury in the form of Thiomersal), antibiotics and preservatives.
(b) Known side effects. The package insert include a far more extensive list of side effects then the government information. To compare what information is provided to doctors by the Australian Government, download the 9th Edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook for free. This book is the vaccine ‘bible’ for Australian doctors and yet, it omits a great deal of the information on ingredients and side effects that is available from the package inserts.
(c) Contraindications. These are reasons why that particular vaccine many not be appropriate for everyone including for people with certain sensitivities or family histories. It is vital that you are aware of your own family history and that your doctor or healthcare provider is as well.
2- Once you have read through this information, make a list of questions that cover your concerns with vaccination. Ask your GP or clinic sister these questions. Then, ask a natural therapist and / or the AVN those same questions. Once you have gotten answers that make you feel secure about your decision – whether that decision is to vaccinate fully, selectively or not at all – you will have the confidence to know that you’ve done the best possible thing by your precious child.
3- Know your family history. Is there a history of allergies (food, environmental, medication) or seizures? Has a close relative had a serious or fatal reaction to a vaccine? Be sure you are aware of this because reactions can and do run in families.
4- f you choose to vaccinate, keep a diary of your child’s health status after vaccination so you will immediately be aware of any changes that may have occurred. Has their sleeping pattern changed? Are they off their food? Do they have diarrhoea or constipation? Are there behavioural changes or symptoms of seizures (eyes rolling, absence, not focusing on faces, loss of skills or regression in behaviour or cognition). Let your doctor know about any of these changes and ask him or her to report anything that you consider to be serious to the government.
5- Know your rights. Vaccination is not compulsory for school, preschool, childcare or playgroup. You cannot lose any government entitlements should you choose not to vaccinate though for some payments, you will need to register as a conscientious objector in order to obtain your benefits.