The Federal Government has announced it will withdraw tax benefits from families whose children are not immunised (news: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-25/immunise-or-lose-benefits-parents-told/3694236).
Immunisation is a (very invasive) medical procedure and as such requires informed consent by the patient. My son being less than 3 years old, it is my responsibility to care for his health and provide such consent. However, I have not been informed and the little I have learned about immunisation makes me believe it is more harmful than good.
What is often quoted by proponents of immunisation (the government included) are incidental studies confirming some benefits (X children were immunised, Y percent of them got a disease while we expected more of them to – hence it’s working). This is NOT convincing. People against immunisation cite opposite cases. Both of these approaches are based on anecdotal data. The FULL data is already available to the Australian government but is ignored . A simple correlation between various Medicare datasets could reveal how healthy immunised children are against how healthy not immunised children are (based on average yearly visits to the doctor resulting in prescribed treatment). This is a) not anecdotal evidence but based on the whole population, and b) revealing the whole picture (i.e. immunisation might save children from some diseases but weaken their organisms and open them up for others which are not studied in the cases supporting immunisation).
I requested the above information from Medicare but was denied it, on the basis that such a correlation would be too expensive to perform. If it has not been performed already (and made public), that means the government has neglected the facts and this new legislation is not based on fact but belief.
Furthermore, whatever the facts are, immunisation is a situation of balancing risks – definite risks from adverse side effects (which are admitted even by vaccine manufacturers) against hypothetical future risks of diseases. Decisions about such balance are personal and cannot be mandated by government. Putting financial pressure on me in order to accept one view point is an attempt to force me into a decision, whereas the law says I should be free to decide for myself.