We have put together a list of commonly asked questions for those of you faced with an immediate decision or just starting out on your research journey.
These questions have been asked by many of the parents who joined our Facebook page or members group over the years.
Frequent Questions by Irish Parents
The main option for parents is talking to their health care provider. But many healthcare providers don't welcome questions regarding vaccinations and if they do, they often don't have extensive knowledge on all the pros and cons of vaccines. Therefore parents are left with many unanswered question on vaccines.
In the absence of official support, parents tend to talk to other parents about their vaccine concerns. As part of our commitment to informing and supporting parents, we provide a network so that parents can discuss this important decision with other parents. Many Irish parents follow HSE recommendations, some choose to delay vaccines, some choose to partially vaccinate and others choose not to vaccinate. Please contact us for more information on how to get in touch with other parents directly.
Vaccinations are not compulsory in Ireland.
Informed consent needs to be obtained by an experienced health professional from the parent or guardian of any person under 16 years of age.
According to the HSE:
In order that an individual can make a decision they must be aware of aspects relating to the vaccination or programme. The individual must be provided with the following information in order to give informed consent:
• the nature of the treatment - what vaccines will be administered and against which disease they provide protection
• What are the benefits and risks of immunisation and the risks of disease(s)
• What are the possible side effects of immunisation, when might they occur and how should they be treated
• Alternatives to vaccination.
This is of course an individual decision, however - most parents that decide not to vaccinate do so on the basis that they believe the natural immune system is up to the job of providing sufficient protection. A small baby does not have a mature immune system and this is where many parents are worried.
There are ways to strengthen and support a child's immune system. Parents may decide very differently on this question, some welcome a period of nesting after a new baby joins the family and decide to limit visitors, excursions or contact with strangers. Others are out and about with baby from day one.