An exercise in missing the point

Today the Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing announced their “Stronger Immunisation Incentives” policy.

The text can be found here.

This sounds like an excellent idea. Finally, the government steps up; they will cut off Family Tax Benefit bonus payments to those who refuse to immunise their children, endangering not only their children’s lives, but also the lives of those children who are too young to be immunised. If you don’t immunise your kids, you don’t get the full family tax benefit.

This is great, right? Wrong.

It does nothing of the sort. What it does it gives people too slack to keep up with their immunisation schedules a stick and carrot approach to stay on it.

Anti-vaxxers, on the other hand?

About half way down the page, last paragraph under the heading “Stronger incentives to get children immunised” is this gem: “Existing exemptions will continue to be available for people who register as conscientious objectors to immunisation.”

That’s right. The anti-vaxxers can get an exemption to continue on in their ignorance.

Just in case you think I’m misunderstanding this, in a radio interview this morning, I heard The Hon. Nicola Roxon MP (Minister for Health and Ageing) say something like “…some people have strong objections to immunisation and this is not to force them to go against their beliefs.” – which is what sent me looking.

If you really REALLY believe that science is lying to you, and you absolutely refuse to immunise your kids, fine. Ignore confirmation bias, and keep your head firmly jammed up your fundamental orifice.

But do me a big favour, keep your kids the hell away from mine. Particularly our baby due in May next year. I don’t want our newborn baby catching some preventable disease because YOU refuse to play your part in preventing it.

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