Why I vaccinate my children and the Meningitis B petition

It would appear that this post has angered the anti vax community. From the messages I received last night there are a few things I want to make clear. Any messages I receive personally attacking me or my children will not be published.  

  1. “You look very young on that photo on your blog. Don’t you think you may want to grow up a bit”                      Yes I might look young, but I’m actually 31. I don’t need to grow up a bit before commenting on vaccinations, maybe you do?
  2. “Just the usual crap from an uneducated Mummy blogger”                                                                                               I am educated. I have a Bachelor of Science degree and a Postgraduate Degree meaning I am more than capable of reading and interpreting scientific studies and published articles. 
  3. ” It has shown that the masses always like participating in knee-jerk reactions.” 
    The Meningitis B petition is not a knee jerk reaction of the general public. There is a vaccination available that could help to protect our children from a horrific disease. The reason people are rushing out to get it done privately I can only imagine, is because if their child was unfortunate enough to catch Meningitis B in the meantime and yes I know that chance is very low, then they would be thinking if only we had got them the vaccine.

I vaccinate my children for many different reasons, the main one being if they were to catch one of the horrific diseases they protect against because I hadn’t vaccinated them, I would never be able to forgive myself. We are incredibly lucky to live in a time where we don’t have to see or live with the disastrous effects these diseases have. You only have to watch a program like Call the Midwife to see how dangerous diseases like Measles and Polio can be. I use Call the Midwife as an example purely because the TV is as close as most of us will luckily get to seeing the diseases. 

Why I Vaccinate My Children

It’s my choice to vaccinate my children and fortunately the majority of people agree with me as it creates Herd immunity which is what protects those who haven’t been vaccinated. Herd immunity is incredibly important, for babies who haven’t yet been immunised and for those that can’t be immunised because of a compromised immune system. My second child had to rely on herd immunity whilst having tests on his immune system. He wasn’t able to have his MMR due to the live component in it and I’m grateful for all the people around him who were vaccinated at that time as it made him safer until he could have them. My youngest reacted with a high fever and blisters on her legs around the immunisation site to some of her first vaccinations. When having her MMR we talked the risks through with the Doctor and her Paedetrician and decided the risks were greater her not having it. We stayed in the Doctors surgery for longer to make sure she had no adverse reactions. Yes she had a temperature and sore legs after and has since had a very, very mild version of a couple of the diseases but I would prefer this to the full blown version of the diseases any day. I read the inserts given to me before a vaccination just as I do before taking any medicine. There are possible side affects to everything we take and do. Weighing up the risks I decided that it was safer for my children to be protected against the diseases than not. If you have decided that the risks are too high for your child that is your choice. Some may say you are lucky that we live in a society where you have that choice because the majority of people do vaccinate and so the chances of your child getting the diseases are low. The reason pregnant women are now offered the whopping cough vaccine (which I had) is to help protect their newborn babies from the rising risk of catching the disease before they are old enough to be immunised themselves. The reason for this rise and risk is the fall in the amount of people getting their children vaccinated. 

Vaccinations are to protect you and your children they are not done for any other reason and we are incredibly lucky that we have them. 

The recent petition to make the Meningitis B vaccine available to all children has shown how important they really are. Vaccinations save lives! I’ve signed the petition as for us with 4 children getting them vaccinated privately is just not an option. If it was I would do it in a heartbeat! Yesterday some private companies are now charging as much as £750 for one vaccine. I get the whole supply and demand, but this is wrong, companies praying on parents worries. I don’t believe that the NHS shouldn’t fund them as I’m pretty sure it costs more money to treat and hopefully cure than it does to prevent in the first place. The Meningitis B petition is now the most signed in Parliamentary history, it’s just such a shame that the death of a child that could have been prevented is the reason for its popularity. If you haven’t already signed the petition you can do so here.


If you want to do some more reading here are some reputable links

Vaccine Myths  

Vaccines and Autism 

Herd Immunity 

60 responses to “Why I vaccinate my children and the Meningitis B petition”

  1. Clare says:

    I’m sure parents who’s children have been damaged by vaccines would disagree, and whooping cough has only risen because parents ARE vaccinating, very recently someone I know (in UK) had a class full of children who contracted whooping cough (all vaccinated??) yet their child (unvaccinated) didn’t get it??? My child has been vaccine damaged, fortunately not in as bad as some case and I knew as soon as he had his MMR he changed, I’m his mother I know…if people continue to get their children vaccinated fine, I don’t care I don’t judge but do not judge parents who decide not to and prefer not to inject their child with chemicals. Also the fact the MMR may cause autism has very recently been announced that a LOT of the professionals his reports, lied and come clean that they may in fact cause autism. Yes I’ve done my research as well and I know full well that Drs get £15 per vaccine from the pharmaceuticals???? Plus when you know someone close who’s child changed that afternoon of having their MMR and now been diagnosed with Autism, it really is NOT a load of crap it’s just not in the media as its all about the dollar!!! I can also sleep well at night that I no longer vaccinate my children, they feed on nutritious food and are happy and healthy!

    • Kath says:

      A child develops autism because it has a genetic predisposition to do so. No other reason.

    • The MMR vaccine does not cause autism. That researcher falsified data, and has caused untold damage to a generation of children Anyone who publicly supports this position is continuing his work. Diseases that were once close to being wiped out because of vaccinations are now coming back. It doesn’t sound like you’ve done your research at all.

    • Amanda says:

      The MMR does not cause autism ahhhggghhghgjgjhgjh. The doctor who wrote that report was found to have falsified findings and was struck off the General Medical Council register. He was the one that started this scare mongering rhetoric. There is a reason why child mortality rates have gone down and that is because of vaccinations. There are many reports finding that the so called correlation with the MMR and autism are because autism traits start showing around the age children have the MMR. And the recent study of 95,000 children found no link between the MMR and Autism http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/21/no-link-between-mmr-and-autism-major-study-concludes

    • Laura says:

      It makes me both laugh and yell in frustration that so many parents STILL believe the link between MMR and autism. The doctor who carried out that research was struck off for goodness sake! If that’s not proof that the research was invalid I don’t know what is.

  2. NP says:

    What an incredibly blinkered and inconsiderate blog!
    I don’t think you would be writing this article in such a ‘matter of fact’ way if you knew somebody who had suffered a vaccine injury. It’s not just about autism!!! Perhaps you should take the time to read the insert sheets that come with the vaccines you are giving your children before making judgement on those people who carefully choose not to vaccinate. There is a whole list of problems associated with vaccines and if you read the insert for ‘Bexsero’ (the vaccine against Meningitis B), you will also notice the very limited amount of clinical trials that have been run on the drug. None have been done on children under 10 years.
    If you are happy for your child to receive a drug that hasn’t been properly tested then that is up to you, but don’t judge others should they decide not to. It is highly offensive for you to suggest that because I have chosen not to vaccinate my children I am not doing the best for them. It is precisely because I want to do the best for them that I have not, but I doubt you will understand that!

    • Kate says:

      agreed. The vaccine issue is not blank and white. Thousands of children suffer horrific injuries. Google gardasil vaccine injuries and have a look at the results.

      • MummyandMonkeys says:

        I didn’t say it was black and white! I said why I vaccinate MY children, did you actually read the post?

  3. Margaret Clarkson says:

    I’m very sorry you have had unkind comments. I, personally am a great believer in vaccinations. My all time ultimate hero is Edward Jenner.

    I know there are different types of meningitis – I am an adult and contracted it after surgery. I nearly died and owe my life to the wonderful medical staff at the hospital I was taken to.

    Wishing you all the best.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Hi Margaret, so glad that you made a good recovery, the disease is truly horrific! x

  4. The Speed Bump says:

    I’m really sorry you had rude comments yesterday. Honestly I think the only reason the anti-vax community gets so rude and insulting is because they know their arguments don’t stand up! I am in total agreement with you x

  5. I am pro-vax myself but know people who are anti, and I actually understand their reasons for it. But we each parent our own child, and as long as we do our best for them, that’s all that matters. Its not an issue that people should argue about, parents should support each others decisions, even if they differ (unless of course the difference in opinion is something that puts them at harm obvs!). Hope you’re OK x

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Some of the anti vax arguements are scary and I do understand why people believe them. I read a blog post by an American women saying that she didn’t know who to trust so just buried her head in the sand and hoped for the best, then all of her children caught whooping cough. Think it was called from anti vax to science, a very interesting read x

  6. Great post, and I’m a believer in vaccinating as well. My Son is booked in for his Men B next week. I’m so glad I managed to get him in because it’s been so difficult.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thanks for your comment hun. Glad you have managed to get it for him x

  7. Becster says:

    I’m sorry about the rude comments you’ve had but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally I vaccinate my kids.. I’m of the opinion that vaccines have helped us avoid polio etc. I also think that the outbreak of Measles that happened in the Wales Valleys was a result of parents not vaccinating their kids. I’m fully aware of side effects that can happen and I feel for the parents and kids that it’s happened to. I’ll admit that I am terrified of the Meningitis B thing. My baby has had the vaccine but my toddler hasn’t and I am considering going private. xx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      It’s the fear of them catching it in the meantime isn’t it. I know the risks are low. We just can’t afford it, especially with the private prices being bumped up. Thank you for your comment x

  8. I can’t even put my thoughts in to replying because the responses to this post have annoyed me so much, the government doesn’t vaccinate children because they fancy it- it cost’s them a fortune! We are not america doctors don’t get paid more for each vaccine they administer. Anyway, basically i think everyone should have to vaccinate their children, I do respect other people opinions normally but putting your child and other children at risk should not be aloud!
    There are risks to EVERY med we give to children or ourselves for that matter, but it’s when the risk of actually getting the illness outweighs the risks to the vaccine as it always does.
    I can not find a legit reason not to vaccinate when the consequences of not doing it for ourselves, our children and society, Outweigh them.
    Also the link to autism and MMR was fabricated, this is where the scaremongering began originally.
    FYI – Also I am degree level educated (Bachelors of science – in a health related subject), so neither ignorant or uneducated.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Georgina, I haven’t even approved the personally attacking comments. Like you I think everything we do has a risk, it’s about weighing them out. Thanks for your comment x

      • I don’t understand why abusing you would be a legitimate way of making an argument! I have strong views on this but would never think abusing the person and writing derogatory comments to those with an opposing opinion to my own would ever be productive, although I hugely disagree with the opposite point of view to myself and will argue logically against that point of view I wouldn’t ever call that person names and try to basically be hurtful.
        The words “grow up” spring to mind if you can’t have a debate without reducing it too name calling and personal attacks.
        Great post by the way 🙂 xxxx

  9. Lorraine says:

    Personally I am pro vax, and am sorry to see the comments you had at first.
    Re the meningitis b vaccine for me the point of the petition itself is to give parents the opportunity and the choice to vaccinate, which at present is taken away from them unless they are rich enough to pay. I know of some antivaxxers who have signed for that reason, and hope others will too.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Yes you’re right to be able to even have the choice would be good. x

  10. Suz says:

    A well written blog on a topic close to my heart. Having lost my husband to meningitis anything to prevent other families going through the trauma we have had is worthwhile. I think everyone should have the choice to vaccinate, which at the moment is the big problem with the men B vaccination. If you choose not to vaccinate then you take the gamble with the disease and the severity of the hit, I just hope it isn’t the hit we had!

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Oh I’m so very sorry to read this. xx

  11. Robyn says:

    My toddler has had all of the free vaccinations offered here in NZ and has had no problems with them. There are some additional vaccinations, for chicken pox and the like, which are available if you pay for them but I haven’t actually given them much thought. From the day they’re born, when we have to decide whether to give our babies vitamin K or not, parents are constantly being asked to make big decisions based on conflicting information – it’s not always easy to know what the right thing is…

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      It’s not easy and I know people who have been scared by a lot of the stuff that is said that is based on hearsay rather than actual facts. Such a shame x

  12. Vaccinations do save lives. You are right to vaccinate & to talk about it. It’s shocking the type of comments people leave when they actually don’t know the facts themselves. You know what you are doing & what’s best for your kids. It is a horrible disease & I don’t know why it’s not part of the vaccine schedule! #picknmix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Hopefully the Government will decide to roll it out to older children too x

  13. It really does make you think about it all and how dangerous and scary it can be. I have an appointment booked next week. Thanks for sharing and raising awareness x

  14. Babylists says:

    Wow, I’m so sorry you received such negative, personal comments about this very very important issue. There’s a reason this petition has been signed by so many. Unfortunately I think NHS funding plus the shortage of the vaccine may mean we don’t get the results we want. I’m just so pleased my son has had 2 men B vaccines already. We could barely afford it but it is worth every penny. I had meningitis as a baby and my Mum said she didn’t want any parent going through what she went through when I was diagnosed. Great post, don’t let negative comments put you off. #PicknMix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Oh no that’s awful you had it. Glad you managed to get it done though and put your mind at rest x

  15. I am truly shocked at some of the comments!
    It is every mother’s choice to make this decision for her and her children. Anyone who judges others without knowing circumstances or the facts is inconsiderate. I don’t think bashing one another for our choices is the way to go. We all make these decisions for personal reasons and whatever our decision we have to stick by it.
    Both my boys had all the vaccinations they were allowed to when they were young.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I couldn’t believe the comments, its obviously a very heated topic for some x

  16. I’m sorry you had such a crappy backlash regarding this post. I fully agree with you, I will always vaccinate my child because it absolutely makes sense! #picknmix

  17. Jodie Allen at Makeup To Motherhood says:

    Firstly, I think it is wrong that these people are saying such hurtful things to you for trying to do the best thing for your child. And secondly, the point about Mummy Bloggers being uneducated is just ridiculous! You are highly educated – much more so than me – but even I am educated enough to research and make the best choice for our families. We are all doing the best we can, its the people the are making rude comments that have the problem not us! #PicknMix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thanks Jodie, I just pointed out my degrees as I was so annoyed at the assumption. Even if I didn’t have them I would still be able to read and make my own mind up, like you. Thanks for your support xx

  18. Crummy Mummy says:

    I have had both of mine vaccinated, but that said I have refused the flu spray as I don’t think it’s necessary. I guess everyone has their own opinion and reasons for that opinion #picknmix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I refused the flu for my eldest but got it for Finlay as he has asthma. Think you need to decide on the optionals based on your own circumstances xx

  19. I find vaccinating so interesting and both sides of the debate seem so extreme. There seems to be no middle ground. After the birth of my first son I asked the health visitors for information on studies and things I could read against vaccinations and they could offer absolutely nothing. They could offer no statistics or information. I found it really frustrating that all of the studies I cound online were conducted decades ago. Call the Midwife times were filthy and are completely incomparable to now. I made the decision to delay vaccinating until my children are two – that way I would fully know their immune systems and be able to decide which vaccinations I would and wouldn’t be giving them. I’ve heard rumours of a chicken pox vaccine being introduced which I just think is absurd. Our children will be left with no opportunities to exercise their immune systems which I think has even bigger consequences. My mum has eleven children and she said that the vaccinating schedule changed almost every time so she made sure she informed herself of the symptoms and gave herself time to decide. I also think some illnesses we vaccinate against are far more dangerous than others (eg. meningitis) and it’s important for parents to weigh up the risks of each illness rather than just agreeing to all of them xx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I don’t give the flu vaccine to all my children, just the youngest and Finlay who has asthma. Chicken Pox is a weird one as people think it is a mild illness and it is usually. My second had it mildly, my first was ill with it and absolutely covered in his ears and mouth causing an ear infection etc. My friends little girl actually ended up hospitalised from it and had to re learn to walk after. It was touch and go. We never know how our bodies are going to react to these things. x

  20. I’m astonished that you have had such horrible negative comments to this and attacking your children too – unbelievable!
    I wholeheartedly agree with this post, why would you not want your child vaccinated when the alternative is them getting terribly ill? My daughter had a reaction to one of these vaccines too – we were much more cautious the second time, but unless the reaction was life threatening the benefits outweighed the risks.
    Great post!

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      That was exactly our opinion Laura, even with the reaction we decided it still wasn’t worth the risk. Thanks for your support x

  21. Silly Mummy says:

    I wrote a post last year about vaccinations & my view that anti-vaxxers wrongly assume it only affects them and their family. My point was that isn’t really the purpose at all – the programmes aren’t about individual kids, they’re mostly about eradicating diseases in the general population & creating herd immunity. Funnily, enough, after what was said to you, I actually think that the anti-vax people are the ones who need to grow up, as it seems to me very immature to believe that these programmes and this issue is all about you as an individual, or to not understand that illnesses like measles only seem like no big deal to us because of vaccination programmes – full blown measles is very dangerous & was a huge killer. Smallpox is my really big one – I am SO glad they found a vaccination for that, & can’t believe anyone would actually believe that was a bad thing! I got some hassle from writing about it too, but you always do on the vaccination issue.

    As far as meningitis goes, I have some sympathy with the position in terms of actual provision – we were the first country to even offer this at all, & these programmes always have to start somewhere, & they usually do exclude those out of that starting point, & it usually is (sensibly) babies where they start. I do see that the cost and logistical implications of trying to roll out new vaccinations on a wider basis than just adding them to the baby schedule would be hard, especially for our over pressured system. That said, I do wish my little ones could get it. I know that it is not actually that common, and is nowhere near as infectious as people believe, but the prognosis and outcomes in young children are devastating if they do get it. &, yes, knowing that there was a vaccine would be awful. So I can see both sides, and personally would like it to be widened to older children from my own selfish perspective, as the private costs are prohibitively high, but I do understand that may not be practical. I would alternatively hope that if supplies increase so that there is not the current shortage, private costs might become more reasonable in future. #picknmix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I think some people just don’t see the big picture. I would be so upset if my child couldn’t have vaccinations and was relying on herd immunity to read some of these comments. Like you I’m hoping it gets extended for older children. If it doesn’t and the private costs come down I will be getting it for them. at £750 each it just isn’t going to happen. x

  22. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Vaccination is so vital and the so-called “anti-vax movement” is misinformed and very dangerous.

    Not much winds me up these days but people refusing to vaccinate based on subjective drivel they read online makes my blood truly boil.

    If you don’t vaccinate because your child can’t have vaccines for health reasons that is very different – and frankly many of those parents AGREE with vaccines because their child is relying on herd immunity. But to not vaccinate because you believe celebrity-endorsed rubbish which has no quantifiable evidence to back it up is, frankly, selfish (as well as stupid).

    On any other parenting topic – breastfeeding, cloth nappies, how to deal with your child’s behaviour etc – I am a huge advocate for live and let live. Every parent is different and entitied to raise their children however they see fit. But I cannot be indifferent on this topic because it is NOT just about them and their children. Choosing not to vaccine affects EVERYONE, putting other children at risk. It’s simply irresponsible.

    Sorry, went on a bit of a rant there, but in short I agree 100% and well done for sharing even knowing you would face the inevitable backlash x #picknmix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I’m the same I couldn’t care less how you wean your baby, if you breastfeed or us controlled crying. I might not agree with some of it but I wouldn’t push my opinions on to you and just think do what is right for you. BUT vaccinations affect more than just your child. I don’t think I was prepared for the backlash. I’ve realised there are a lot more people out there than I knew about and that worries me for the future of our safety from the diseases. Thanks for your support x

  23. Hi lovely I had both of mine vaccinated and never regretted it for a second. With my eldest having type 1 diabetes now a lot of the illnesses he is vaccinated against would kill him if he developed them as his body isn’t able to cope ….. an 11 year old boy died recently who was type 1 after complications with his diabetes from a simple childhood sickness bug…. that hit home hard especially as Fin is also 11.

    A really important post you’ve written, ignore the haters and any threatening or really abusive ones save the IP addresses and report to the police for trolling.

    Stevie xx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      That’s a good idea about the IP addresses. When I thought Finlay might not be able to have them it was a worrying time as he would end up hospitalised from tonsillitis or a chest infection. There was no way he could have fought of one of the many horrible diseases. Unfortunately even mild illnesses can have devastating affects with the wrong person, wrong time x

  24. The Pramshed says:

    So sorry that you have had negative comments re vaccinations. I am pro all vaccinations as I realise that the risk of getting a horrible disease is greater than the risk of the vaccination. Should I not vaccinate and my child gets a horrible disease I would feel so guilty. Ignore all the horrible comments you’re doing the right thing. Claire X #PickNMix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you Claire, that’s exactly how I feel about them x

  25. So sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with nasty comments on your blog. Why people feel they can get personal and attack others is beyond me. I would choose to vaccinate every time – I would never forgive myself if they fell ill and I could have prevented it. #PickNMix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you Maria, I would never be able to forgive myself either x

  26. Anne says:

    I’m totally with you on this, I’ve seen first hand the damage that measles, mumps, meningitis, polio and TB can do. We need to wipe these horrible diseases out and we can only do this by vaccinating. Yes, there may be risks but they are nowhere near as bad as the risks of catching one of these diseases. All five of my children are vaccinated. It would be amazing if it were possible to create a vaccination for cancer.
    By the way, you look amazing for 31, no wonder people thought you were much younger x

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Haha thank you Anne, thinking I need to put up a more haggard picture now so I’m taken seriously and can talk about important things 😉 A vaccination for cancer would be amazing x

  27. Jade says:

    People are more than welcome to their opinions and just because you’re voicing yours on your own blog, people think it’s ok to attack you personally? That’s awful. We do, as parents, what we think is best for OUR OWN children. I am pro vaccination, although I did miss the whooping cough one while pregnant with Ted (not out of choice, I got messed around quite a bit) but I would’ve otherwise had it. I have signed the Men B petition. Ted was in hospital with a meningitis scare toward the end of last year and it was terrifying. The thought of losing my child over something that can so easily be prevented doesn’t bear thinking about. I understand, and respect, peoples’ choices to not vaccinate their children, that’s fine, but don’t shoot us pro vaccinators because you are misinformed.

  28. Emma says:

    I am sorry to hear that you have been “trolled” over your choices. There really is no excuse for personal attacks! I think that you have dealth with what can be a very emotive subject, really clearly and providing factual information with links. I’m glad that you didn’t let the trolls deter you from vocalising what you believe in.

  29. I will never understand why people feel the need to attack others who have different opinions. Ridiculous! The only vaccine I haven’t given to my two girls is the flu vaccine. Mainly as they have no health issues and the flu strain varies year on year. I know many of my friends who disagree with this decision but we are all able to respect each others opinions. I recently had a cervical cancer scare and I am so grateful that my girls will benefit from that vaccine at secondary school. Kathy x #PicknMix

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