Parents who reject vaccines say children should not treated as 'numbers'

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

PETALING JAYA: Parents who have rejected vaccinations said children should not be treated "just as numbers" in the statistics of those who had suffered adverse reactions.

"Our one child is just a number for them," said a mother of two who only wanted to be identified as Bessie.

"Quite frustrating, the way they look at the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines," she said when commenting on Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam's statement that vaccines were only given if the health authorities were convinced that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Bessie said her child cried persistently for three hours and also screamed loudly within 48 hours after she was vaccinated.

She said her daughter later appeared to have suffered speech delay.

According to Bessie, parents in her circle also reported cases of eczema, allergies, seizures, swollen or infected lymph nodes and also cases of children having learning disorders and speech delay.

"Most parents, including myself, are hesitant to step forward because there is no such medical report to acknowledge that our children's issues are solely due to vaccines,"

"One mother did report her case, but it took almost a year to get a reply after many calls," she added.

A father who only wished to be identified as Dan, 36, said many parents did not know the symptoms of adverse reactions which could be due to vaccines or report them because they were not aware of how to do so.

He said that it was also very hard to prove a vaccine injury or death, as most doctors would not consider such a probability to begin with.

"Adverse reaction studies are also lacking. When health officials say there is no evidence of a certain vaccine causing a certain symptom, it could be the case of no studies done," he said.

He proposed that a compensation fund be introduced for those who had suffered from vaccine injuries.