For children in Australia, it is recommended they be immunised against Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Poliomyelitis, Pneumococcal conjugate, Rotavirus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chicken Pox, and later, for Human Papillomavirus.
Let’s take one of these diseases; Measles, and look at the statistics. Prior to vaccination becoming widespread (1970), up to 2.5% of the population could be expected to come down with the disease in any one year. The worst year on record was 1925, in which about 2.75% of the population contracted the disease. Since vaccination began, the incidence of the disease has dropped dramatically, with less than 0.01% of the population contracting the disease in any recent year.
Of the people who contract measles, 1 out of every 70 people will require hospitalisation. It can lead to middle ear inflammation (up to 9% of cases), pneumonia (up to 7% of cases), encephalitis (0.1% of cases), convulsions (0.5% of cases). But the most insidious complication is what is termed subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which occurs up to 15 years afterwards in 0.0001% of cases (1 in 1,000,000).
SSPE starts with stage 1 where behaviour becomes erratic, and can be accompanied by dementia, twitching, and muscle spasms in arms and legs. In stage 2, the intensity of the spasms increases and the dementia becomes worse, such that the ability to walk may be affected, speech and comprehension will be impaired, and eventually swallowing may be difficult. Stage 3 will see a general decline in overall bodily function, with worsening of all stage 2 symptoms, progressing to a vegetative state, coma and death.
If detected in Stage 1 the disease can be treated, not cured, and requires medication for the remainder of the sufferer’s life, to prevent further deterioration. If not detected until Stage 2, the disease is invariably fatal.
So the question is: Would you be willing to risk your child’s life by not getting them immunised, just because some self appointed expert believes the lie that immunisation is related to autism, or a conspiracy theorist believes it is all a plot to control the populace, or because some religious nutter thinks it is against god’s law? If you do not immunise your child and your child dies, you should expect to face criminal charges in addition to facing the remainder of your life knowing that your stupidity and gullibility led to the death of your child. That would be more difficult than the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, which is an available sentence for such conduct.