Geographical Data

Furthering on from the previous post – “Case Study – Vitamin K”

Over 92% of Australian children are vaccinated to protect them against disease, however Northern NSW has one of the lowest child vaccination rates in the country.

VACCINE RATES in 2014 – 2015 – vaccination of five-year olds:

  • 61% in Byron Bay
  • 46.7% in Mullumbimby

The Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network is very active in northern NSW. They are neither ‘pro-vac’ or ‘anti-vac’ – but are ‘pro choice.’ The AVsN claim medical practitioners have a responsibility to inform each person of the side-effects of a vaccine, both good and bad, but they fail to do this.

What I gather from this site, is that networks and advocacy groups like the AVsN indirectly promote doubt in the minds of parents, and directly doubt the scientific processes behind immunisation.

Case Study – Vitamin K

A northern-NSW five-week old baby was fighting for life this year after suffering a brain haemorrhage, an illness that the Vitamin K injection sufficiently prevents. A shot that parents must consent to.

Babies are born with a natural deficiency of Vitamin K, which once killed approximately 15 babies per year, before routine injections, introduced in the 1970s, reduced the incidence to nearly 0.

Older children and adults receive most of their Vitamin K from bacteria in their gut, with the rest supplemented from their diet. With babies however, and after birth, there is minimal Vitamin K in breast milk, leaving breast fed babies severely low in Vitamin K until their gut starts producing it. Infant formula has added Vitamin K, but formula-fed babies still do not receive the required level needed to protect them.

JRNL301: Science & Vaccination

Science is about falsification of fact – testing to see if something is wrong. You look at data, you look at the assumptions made and you attempt to refute these. This is a way of testing and establishing knowledge. If this cannot be refuted, these assumptions move into theories, then principles and then laws. This is how we have our view of vaccination today.

There are two sides to vaccination: pre-vax [everyone should be vaccinated to prevent the spread and contraction of disease] and anti-vax [everyone should have freedom of choice].

In the coming weeks I will be producing both audio and video pieces for publication.

JRNL301: Data Research and Investigative Journalism

For JRNL301 (Data Research and Investigative Journalism), I am studying the topic ‘Vaccinations in Australia’, specifically the science behind such vaccinations compared with the increasing tendency of parents refusing such vaccinations for their children.

Some issues/cases I will be focussing upon include:

  • A Northern-NSW baby fought for life in hospital after his parents refused the Vitamin K injection (given to babies to prevent haemorrhaging as they are born with vitally low levels);
  • Anti-vaccination geographically, particularly in Northern-NSW where vaccination levels are as low as just 50% in some areas with vaccination-sceptics prevalent in the area;
  • What is immunisation?
  • What is vaccination?
  • Who benefits from a vaccine?
  • Are vaccinations safe?
  • World Immunisation Week (24th – 30th April)

Stay tuned.