MYTH BUST: Vaccinations do not cause SIDS

Unfortunately, there continue to be people in the community who advocate against childhood vaccinations.

Here at Red Nose, we like to 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 Chief Midwife Jane 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 does not work as well as the immune system in older children and adults because it is immature,” Jane explains.

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

“In particular, we need to be vigilant at protecting our babies within the two-four month critical development period,” Jane says.

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

“It’s also the period when most vaccinations occur, which is where the misunderstanding between immunisation and SIDS lies.”

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

“Infections and illnesses are known as an exogenous stress, which is a risk factor for SIDS,” Jane says.

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

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