Vaccinations save lives. But they only work when herd immunity is strong enough to protect the weaker members of our community.
So when the topic of anti-vaxxer parents opening daycares for their mates came up today on What's the Buzz for The Morning Show on Channel Seven, the debate was heated- just watch the clip.
The anti-vaxxer daycares are an attempt to dodge 'No Jab, No Play' rules in NSW- but they are putting everyone in the community at risk.
Actively discouraging people from vaccinating is irresponsible at best. At worst? Well, the worst-case scenario doesn't bear thinking about.
A NSW woman seeking interest in an anti-vaxxer playgroup advertised her offer saying 'I have a strong passion for children's health and wellbeing and have a beautiful nurturing soul.'
That's great. But having a 'strong passion' is not the same as 'having a medical degree' or understanding how vaccines work.
Because if she did, she'd understand she is gambling with the lives of children.
Today's anti-vaxxer playgroup might be the modern-day version of the measles party, where kids were exposed to a -potentially fatal- virus to 'get it over with' and build their immunity. But these days, when the diseases should be almost eradicated thanks to vaccines, all this does is ensure their survival.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. But being part of a village doesn't mean existing in a Facebook echo chamber that bans people who don't agree with you. It means working as a team for the good of everyone.
We don't mandate vaccines by law. But we do regulate other things that put the community at risk, like banning cigarettes in certain areas to reduce risks associated with passive smoking and penalising people who drink and drive.
But when seven-year-old girls are contracting tetanus and babies are dying of whooping cough and more people than ever are believing in a fake 'Big Pharma' conspiracy, maybe we should ask the question.
Should it be illegal to be an anti-vaxxer?