Q: Would you condone not vaccinating children at all, especially if they have a healthy diet/lifestyle? Or do you believe there are certain vaccinations, which are vital for children in our modern day? Also, don't vaccinations compromise our immune systems? A: I do not share the view of many of my medical colleagues that full immunisation is essential for a child’s health. If parents make an informed decision not to vaccinate their child, then I do not believe this is irresponsible. Deciding if, how and when to vaccinate can be both difficult and confusing. However, I do recommend that all children are vaccinated against tetanus, while at the other extreme, I am at a loss to explain why all children are vaccinated against mumps, which, in the overwhelming majority of children, is a harmless illness. There is evidence that vaccinations can have adverse effects on our immune systems – for example, delaying giving a baby vaccines by a few months can reduce the risk of asthma by more than half.
Q: Overall what vaccinations would you recommend children in the UK to have, if any? A: I believe that parents should be allowed to make an informed decision as to what vaccines to give their child; this is what we encourage – and offer – at Babyjabs. Unless your child is never going to play in fields, then I would strongly encourage tetanus vaccination. I recommend vaccination against diphtheria and polio, but there is absolutely no need to start these at two months; unless the child is travelling to a high-risk area, both these vaccines could be left until later in childhood. On balance, giving the single measles vaccine is safer than catching measles. It is important that all girls are immune to German measles before they could become pregnant; immunity can be obtained by catching German measles naturally (though this is unlikely now that most children are immunised) or from vaccination. The benefits of vaccinating against the various types of meningitis (Hib, Meningitis C and Pneumococcus) and whooping cough are more finely balanced and depend on your priorities as a parent.
Q: When our son was six (five years ago) he had the measles vaccination only. Not long after, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and since then we have been reluctant to do the mumps and rubella as single vaccinations. ......
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