There comes a moment every few months, while I’m flicking through my calendar, that I realise I am, yet again, weeks late organising to have my children vaccinated.
I silently apologise to the herd for once again compromising our collective immunity and pick the phone up to organise an appointment.
There’s plenty of evidence around that suggests the two main reasons parents aren’t immunising their children are related to access issues or because they question the science of vaccination. That is, they either don’t believe vaccines work, or they have issues with the logistics, costs etc involved in getting their children immunised.
I fall into neither of these camps. I’m simply less organised than I need to be.
Worryingly, as Mother Jones reports, US epidemiologist, Jason Glanz says, "If a million kids delay their vaccines by a month, that's time during which a disease could spread."
In the same piece, Mother Jones quotes Shannon Stokely from the Center for Disease Control, a US public health institute, "You have so many things to remember when you have a child and vaccines can slip your mind."
An estimated 20 per cent of parents forget when their children are due to be vaccinated, but research shows that reminders have been shown to increase vaccination rates.
The Victorian Government have released a new mobile app, VaxOnTime, to remind parents when their children are due for immunisation, and my diary and I thank them profusely.
In launching the app, Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessey said, “Refusing to vaccinate your child not only endangers their health, but the health of every other child in our community.