To not want my kids to have these blood tests?

(48 Posts)
littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 21:39:08

Hello,

I'm new to posting on this forum, but am interested in some of your thoughts on something.

I am having a brief stint in Australia with my husband and 2 children. One is at school and the other in nursery (ages 5 and 3). I'm originally fom Australia so wanted to spend a bit of time with my family over here,

In Australia, they are very strict on immunisations, and to receive the government's child care rebate to assist with costs ( which you get you are a permanent resident and if both parents do some paid work - it's not means tested) then you have to show that your children have been immunised. I'm absolutely happy with that and support the principle. My two hadnt had hep b needles in the UK, so are having those now.

The problem I'm having is the chicken pox vaccine is on the list of compulsory vaccines . My two have definitely had chicken pox, so don't need the vaccine. The doctor also said he wouldn't want them to have the needle if they've had the virus. But to prove they've had chicken pox I have to take them for blood tests to check their immunity, which I'd rather not do, as both are terrified of needles and it seems unnecessary when I know they've had it. Why would I lie?

I suppose what frustrates me about the whole thing is i could have just asked the doctor to sign a form that says I'm a 'conscientious objector' to immunising my kids, then I wouldn't have had to do any of this and still could have received the rebate.but I couldn't bring myself to do that!

Anyway, I guess there's probably not much I can do, but thoughts are welcome!

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 21:42:07

You don't have to do that! Just cancel the appointment...what do you mean "not much I can do"??? Are you in Oz or in the 3rd Reich!

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 21:46:05

Sorry, I should have said - the child care rebate pays for half of your child care costs. So I do need it!

froken Wed 02-Oct-13 21:49:23

I would just sign the form, you know your kids are immune so it doesn't really matter.

It seems daft to have a system where vaccinations are obligatory except for those families who object to them, isn't that just the same system as the UK but with more paper work?

yetanotherworry Wed 02-Oct-13 21:49:59

You can get exemptions and still get child care rebate. I'm not sure of the procedure though. Have you asked on the BritishExpats Oz forum - they're generally quite useful at answering this sort of thing.

bumperella Wed 02-Oct-13 21:51:22

So your choices are:
a) Declare that you do not approve of immunisations, or
b) Proove that your children have had the immunisations that they need (which involves proving they don't need the chicken-pox one), or
c) don't follow the rules and don't get the rebate.

I can see that the govt wants to check that kids aren't "falling through the net" of healthcare provision - if parents object on principle that's fine, but not OK to miss out due to apathy. That seems pretty sensible. Therefore I don't get the angst.

I'd just tell the kids immediately beforehand that they have to have a little pinprick test and you know it isn't nice but it's for the best. Then give them a treat and move on with your life.

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 21:56:43

You're right bumperella. I've over complicated it and thought about it too much. I'll just get the blood tests done and move on.

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 21:57:43

Hold on just a minute...are you telling me that the Australian government won't pay you your child benefits if you choose not to immunise? shock

Whatever your views on this (mine are immunized) I REALLY don't like the implications.

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 21:59:32

They'll pay but you have to have a doctor sign a form to say you object to immunisations and they have explained the implications to you.

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 22:02:52

how long has this been going on then?

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 22:06:18

And...why do they want you to sign the form? Is it so they can list all the "objectors" or is it so they don't get sued if a child gets ill? I mean....why don't we have these forms in the UK?

BoffinMum Wed 02-Oct-13 22:12:30

Why can't the doctor write a letter confirming they have had it?

bumperella Wed 02-Oct-13 22:15:31

I would guess the signature is a check to make sure basic admin cock-ups don't happen. And probably not happen in the UK as Oz has a bigger group of people who miss out on healthcare through culture, also cost.

I know that your children probably have had chicken pox, but I know a child who had hand, foot and mouth disease and the GP diagnosed chicken pox, so there is room for doubt.

I'd just sign the conscientious objector form, if it doesn't have any other impact (e.g. not allowing your children into some nurseries).

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 22:20:29

bump what group of people? If you mean the indigenous population...they don't...not per capita.

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 22:21:56

Problem solved. I just had a letter approving my rebate application. I faffed for so long maybe they got bored. No idea how or why, but I'm not going to ask any questions!
Thanks for all your thoughts on it!

FredFredGeorge Wed 02-Oct-13 22:22:32

BoffinMum How would the doctor know that the kids had chickenpox sometime before they went to Australia?

IcameOnTheJitney The system is there so that only those who genuinely do object don't get the immunisations, rather than those who simply couldn't be bothered. There's a huge communal good to the immunisations, but forcing everyone to have them is unreasonable, as is withholding a lot of support from those who choose not to. So by putting a few hoops in the way that are as much or more effort as getting the jabs it'll pick up the lazy within the immunisation group. It makes a lot of sense if you have a problem with the numbers getting immunised.

Given the extremely low risk of a pink prick test (which I assume it all it is) I think it would make sense to do that.

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 22:22:50

What...literally in the last few minutes?

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 02-Oct-13 22:24:38

Fred she meant the UK doctor obv.

Fred maybe that is their thinking....but I don't think it's wise or sensible tbh. What it means is that people's benefits can be witheld at the sayso of a GP...which isn't on at all.

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 22:24:39

PS. Boffin, I asked him that but he couldn't unless he knew for sure they had had it. he wanted the blood test first

littlebitgreen Wed 02-Oct-13 22:25:58

Yep...Just logged in and had an online letter, saying it was all done. Sorry I've wasted all of your time!!

YouHaveAGoodPoint Wed 02-Oct-13 22:27:10

I would just have the blood test. I don't see it as a problem, bribe the kids and give them some topical analgesic so they won't feel the jabs.

I think that is a pretty good system. Obviously it is a bit flawed for immigrants though.

SavoyCabbage Wed 02-Oct-13 22:31:26

I had this exact problem. My dc both had chicken pox before we arrived. The oldest who is now nine but was five at the time was allowed to go about her business in the normal way but the youngest fell foul of this law.

I refused to get her immunised and I filled in the form too but she wasn't allowed to go to daycare. They wanted proof that she had had it.

The conscientious objector form doesn't seem to work as a system anyway as its definitely on my dds record that she is not immunised.

When it was time for her to start school it was on the records that her immunisation stuff wasn't complete, which it wasn't, and she wasn't supposed to be allowed to start but I just ignored it all and took her.

Ok, I take it back, if children are excluded from educational opportunities, I don't think it is a good system. Making apathetic people do something (immunisation or declaration as an objector) seems like a good idea.

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