Before I even begin this blog post, I’d like to point out that this is in no way designed to further spark a delicate debate about immunisations, or point a finger at anyone person. It is about education, and helping parents make informed decisions about the health and well-being of their children, no matter what their decisions may be.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of meningococcal disease. In Australia, one of the routine childhood vaccinations that will have been given at 12 months is specifically to help protect against one strain of meningococcal disease.
However, there are multiple strains of the meningococcal bacteria, and this routine childhood vaccination doesn’t protect against every type of meningococcal disease.
Personally, we have always chosen to adhere to the advised immunisation schedule. Not just because we thought we had to, or because it’s what everyone else was doing. But because as parents, we wanted to do what we thought was best for our children.
We have also had discussions with our family GP about further protection against vaccine preventable diseases such as meningococcal disease and taken action. These are not decisions we make lightly. We have done our research, and as a family we’ve decided it is what’s best for us and our children.
My mother-in-law is a neonatal midwife, who has seen first-hand the devastating effects that childhood disease can have on very young babies. I believe that it should become a community effort to try and eradicate these diseases in a hope to better protect those too young to be immunised, as well as protect our children the best we can.
I think because of the delicate nature in which we approach the topic of vaccinations sometimes, it can be hard to ask for the information we’d like to have when it comes to making these decisions. I know this has sometimes been the case for us.
It’s vital that we are aware of the signs and symptoms of diseases such as meningococcal disease so that we can best prepare ourselves in the unlikely event that our children are affected.
While it may be rare, meningococcal disease can cause serious long-term disabilities including brain damage, limb-loss and deafness, and in the most serious of cases, it may lead to death sometimes in as little as 24 hours if not recognised quickly and treated in time – that’s how serious this disease is.
Meningococcal disease is something every parent needs to know about, and is an important conversation that you should have with your general practitioner for information on how to help protect against meningococcal disease.
You can also visit the KnowMeningococcal website here for further information and real stories from those affected by the disease.
 Thompson MJ et al. Lancet 2006; 367(9508): 397–403. AUS/VAC/0095/17. Date of approval: July 2017
This blog post was sponsored by GSK. House of White has partnered with GSK to increase knowledge and understanding of meningococcal disease, and help to prevent the spread and impact of this devastating disease. This post aims to be informational and does not constitute professional medical advice, please see your GP for more information.