I’m very fortunate to live in a great part of the world, near Fremantle in Western Australia. I’m also very fortunate that there’s proactive people here who are very concerned about vaccination rates – and are willing to try outreach in a number of different ways. For this interview, I talked to Dr Katie Attwell, of “I Immunise“.
Fremantle contains a number of families who practice what might be regarded as alternative parenting. It is not unusual to see a mother breastfeeding a toddler. Many parents wear their babies and use cloth nappies. These practices are in keeping with Fremantle’s reputation for being clean, green and forward-thinking.
Parents within this community seek to make informed and ethical decisions regarding their children and lifestyles. However, concerns, scepticism and outright opposition to vaccines can be pervasive, and are spread through shared social networks in which they can appear the norm.
When parents elect not to immunise their children, this affects those around them who may become vulnerable to disease due to insufficient herd immunity. At risk are newborn babies too young to be immunised, and individuals whose immune systems are compromised by disease or chemotherapy.
The I Immunise campaign was formulated by a member of this community, and addresses parents who identify with natural birthing, breastfeeding and healthy living.
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