Vaccinations: Should you give your baby vaccinations?

Vaccinations: Should you give your baby vaccinations?
Vaccinations: Should you give your baby vaccinations?

Should your baby have vaccinations?

Whether or not to vaccinate your baby may be the first major decision you face as a parent, Naomi Majid gives a no holds barred look at the vaccination programme in the UK.

Inoculations are not compulsory in the UK, but the Government recommends that each child has a series of vaccinations starting with the Five-In-One at two months.

Conventional medical opinion is that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any risks - with benefit being measured not only to the individual but also to the community; around 92% of the population need immunity in order to prevent an epidemic.

Professor Adam Finn, head of the Academic Unit of Child Health at Bristol Medical School, says, “vaccinations are one of the most important health-promoting things we can do for our children - up there with a healthy diet.

On the other hand, there are experts who believe that vaccinations overload a child’s developing immune system. Their take is that today’s refined vaccines are less effective than their cruder earlier counterparts, and are responsible for a rapid growth in conditions such as asthma or eczema, as well as more serious neurological disorders such as autism, which is virtually non-existent in non-vaccinated children.

Dr Richard Lanigan, founder of, says there is no evidence that vaccinations make people healthier, and it is likely that we have traded what were normal childhood illnesses 40 years ago for 'normal' childhood diseases today such as asthma and eczema.

Making the ‘right’ decision for your child may not always be an easy simple choice. Good parents aren’t necessarily those who vaccinate their children, neither are bad parents those who don't, or vice versa. And what may be right for one child could be wrong for another.

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a spotlight on each individual vaccine...

Image © iStockphoto

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