Making a decision

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of immunising my child with the MMR vaccine?

Advantages

  • My child will be better protected from common symptoms of these diseases such as rash, high fever, red and painful eyes, swollen glands and joint pain.
  • My child will be better protected from the potentially serious complications of these diseases (e.g. encephalitis or death).
  • I will not have to take time off work to care for my child if they get one or more of these diseases.
  • My child won't face the restrictions set by some schools and childcare centres, which exclude children who have not been vaccinated.
  • If there is an outbreak of measles, mumps or rubella, my child will be able to keep attending school or childcare.
  • My vaccinated child is less likely to pass on diseases to the small number of children and adults who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons (such as babies under 1 year of age, pregnant women, and people having chemotherapy).

     

Disadvantages

  • My child may have some localised swelling where they received the injection, have a non-infectious rash, mild cold and flu-like symptoms or a fever 7 to 12 days after the vaccination.
  • My child may be 1 in 1 million children who experience a serious complication such as a severe allergic reaction.
  • If my child experiences a severe complication I may feel guilty or responsible because I had them vaccinated.
  • Even though the association between MMR and bowel disease and autism has been disproved I might feel some concern about these diseases and vaccination.
  • If I choose to vaccinate my child I may feel uncomfortable if my friends, family or members in my community strongly disagree with my choice.

 

Copyright NCIRS 2009 - Last updated 14 June 2013

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