MYTH BUST: Vaccinations do not cause SIDS

Unfortunately, there are still misconceptions out there about childhood vaccinations. At Red Nose, we deal with facts. And when it comes to immunisation, this is a big one: there is no evidence that vaccinating your baby causes SIDS.


In fact, Red Nose National Health Manager Dr Bec explains, several case control studies show the opposite, with sudden and unexpected death in infancy less common in immunised control groups, compared to those babies who are not immunised.

The immune system in babies and young children is still developing, leaving them more vulnerable to serious infections Dr Bec explains.

This is why it is important to be up-to-date with immunisations in the first year and beyond of life.

“In particular, we need to be vigilant at protecting our babies within the first six months of life,” Dr Bec says.

“This is the critical developmental period when babies are at the highest risk of dying suddenly and unexpectedly.

“It’s also the period when most vaccinations occur, which is why sometimes people mistakenly believe that vaccines might contribute to SUDI”

Newborns are protected in part from most infectious diseases by antibodies that are transferred from mum to bub during pregnancy and through breastmilk. However, Dr Bec explains, these protective antibodies do wear off, putting baby at risk of serious infection.

“Infections and illnesses are known as exogenous stressors, which are a risk factor for SIDS,” Dr Bec says. By preventing infections, we reduce the stress on the baby’s body, which in turn reduces th risk of sudden and unexpected death.

“Immunisation is a safe and effective way of protecting against illness, which is why Red Nose recommends immunising your baby on time.”

* Sudden Unexplained Death in Infants (SUDI) / Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Have a question about Safe Sleep? Ask our Safe Sleep Experts a question today or call our Safe Sleep Advice Line on 1300 996 698 (during business hours).