Outbreaks are scarier: polio survivor cautions anti-vaxxers

AFFECTED: Beris Thomae who suffered from polio as a child wants people to know the risks of not vaccinating children.
AFFECTED: Beris Thomae who suffered from polio as a child wants people to know the risks of not vaccinating children. Alistair Brightman

BERIS Thomae has lived through the horrors of not being vaccinated.

When she was an infant she contracted the paralytic disease polio in 1945 which damaged parts of her leg muscles and left her unable to walk upstairs or run throughout her life.

While the 71-year-old is physically active and considers herself lucky, she has a message for parents fearful about getting their kids immunised.

"It's too big a risk not to vaccinate," Beris said.

Her calls for parents to get their kids jabbed comes just days after statistics revealed 8.2% of the region's one, two and five-year-olds are not immunised against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, meningococcal, chickenpox and other illnesses.

It also follows the advice from Fraser Coast's chief medico, Dr Rosanne Muller.

Ms Thomae recalled the time when she breathed with the assistance of an iron lung, wore leg straightening callipers and a raised boot on her left foot - she said life before mass immunisation was not fun.

A priest was called three times to read out her last rites as a baby; not only did she become infected with polio, she also picked up whooping cough and diphtheria.

But times have changed - children as young as two-months old can begin to become immunised against all three and more as part of the National Immunisation Program.

Thousands of children died each year from communicable disease outbreaks prior to the country's first major vaccination campaigns launched from the 1960s.

While Ms Thomae credits her partial recovery to the rehabilitation performed on her as young child devised by Elizabeth Kenny, the development of possile post-polio syndromes still worries her.


Herd immunity: When levels of immunisation in a community are high enough to ensure those too young or too sick to be vaccinated are not exposed to it.

Immunisation levels needed: National immunisation target of 95% to keep diseases at bay required.

Fraser Coast immunisation: Is 91.%, 3.2% lower than the national target.

National Immunisation Schedule: Vaccines administered to children four years and younger help protect against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, haemophilus influenzae type B, polio, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal C, measles, mumps and rubella and rotavirus.

Topics:  anti-vaccination disease editors picks fraser coast polio vaccination

Discovery of dead birds in M'Boro has residents suspicious

Miro Lesniewski has found a number of dead magpies and ibises, possibly baited, around where he resides in the Tooley, Milton and North Sts, Maryborough area.

The bodies were found on Tooley, Milton and North Sts.

28 wishes for the Fraser Coast

Caloundra Music Festival 2016

What you would like to see on the Fraser Coast.

Dreamworld shock: Son and daughter saw parents die

 New Zealand expat Cindy Low, 42, (back right) has been named as the fourth victim who died in the accident at Dreamworld yesterday. An investigation is underway to determine how four people died on the 30-year-old Thunder River Rapids ride at the Gold Coast theme park.

It is understood Kieran was the last person to see his mum alive.

Local Partners

Hervey Bay to Hollywood: dreams do come true

No Caption

She graduated from the Amercial Musical and Dramatic Academy.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June