**Edited to add: this is NOT an April Fools Day joke. Even though I wish it was.**
Another day, another dangerous, wildly misinformed bunch of nonsense in the notorious Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia. The confidence and ease with which these people risk the lives of their own, and other peoples’ children is truly appalling.
Whooping cough is a deadly disease that has brought about the deaths of several Australian babies in the past few years. In the wake of Riley Hughes passing (which could have been prevented had his mum been given a whooping cough vaccination in her third trimester of pregnancy), state and territory governments across Australia funded third trimester whooping cough boosters for pregnant women. While it is too late for those babies lost to pertussis, this measure has, without a doubt, saved lives in this country.
Cormit Avital was fortunate enough to be offered the whooping cough booster for her baby’s protection while she was pregnant. Unfortunately for her baby daughter Ava, Cormit refused the vaccine. Ava contracted whooping cough and spent a month in intensive care fighting for her life.
Riley, Ava and all the other babies who have suffered and died from this terrible disease are testament to the importance of the maternal pertussis booster.
Back to Anti-Vaccination Australia; Jessie is pregnant with twins, and at her ante-natal visit her doctor had the audacity to offer her this life saving measure for her babies:
“Doctor tried to push for me to get whopping cough vax today tried telling me that the vax is completely safe for pregnant women mind u im only 3 weeks off having my babies and previously said no at 28 weeks and she recommends i have it i said no thanks then she tried telling me that the vax does not havethe virus in it and that worst thatll happen is my arm may hurt and i may feel abit flat i still said no then she asked about when my twins are born am i going to get it for them when i said no she proceeded to tell me my babies can get very very sick without it and that its better i get it done i still said no”
Nikkli came along to comiserate. Her midwives are doing the same, so she is compromising her ante-natal care by not attending for check-ups:
“At my antenatal app at 28 weeks I had the most pushy midwife ever. Said I needed to have it and I said I’d have to think about it, so she wrote in my pregnancy book that my next appointment I want to have it rah rah.
So I actually missed my antenatal app at 32 weeks and didn’t go back till 35 weeks. The midwife I had this visit asked me why I didn’t make my last appointment, I said because I didn’t want to have the vaccination and she said “that’s fine!” Without any hesitation. I felt so much better. Not everyone will push it on you, but there are opinionated idiots every where 😅”
Farah too. HAT-TRICK!
“This happened to me too at my visit today. The doctor told me i need to get my whooping cough vax and i said ‘no i told the other doctor i dont want it’ he said ‘ok’ then a few minutes later asked me ‘why I didnt want it’ i said ‘last time i had a bad reaction and i already had it 5 6 years ago with my first and i dont want to go through that again’ got him off my back but he did write on my card for it to be done next time!! 😠 why do i have to face this shit everytime i go to my antenatal visits”
Of course the other helpful and knowledgeable members joined in to further support the declining of a life saving measure for the unborn babies:
Natasha: “Well done!”
Allison: “Good for you mumma!! They are pushy, aren’t they! She was counting on that little bit extra in her pay. Ah well! Sucks to be her!!”
Lorna: “What a nightmare, being asked repeatedly every visit.”
Pene: “Omg lol….this makes me laugh….good on u for saying no continuously. …i have done the same in the past….”
Liane: Stay strong! “Well done 😊 pushy annoying doctors just wanting to line their pockets, bastards!”
Then there was more encouragement to leave the babies unprotected from Tamlyn: “Well done! Stand your ground ”
and Tristan: “dont just say NO. say ‘”I listen to doctors at the CDC like Dr William Thompson” who proved that vaccines are linked to autism. in other words, saying NO just makes the doctor think you are a “crazy person from the internet”. telling him facts makes him realize you are awake and intelligent and ..may even force him to check out Dr William Thompson and the movie VAXXED”.
There is more in the conversation, including advice for Jessie on birthing twins naturally and how to circumvent the hospital policy of performing a C-section for the safe delivery of twins, because, you know, these people know so much more than trained medical professional like obstetricians.
Will these people enthusiastically giving advice and encouraging these three mothers in their decisions to put their babies lives at risk shoulder any responsibility if there is a tragic outcome here? I think we all know the answer to that.
No they will not.
They showed this recently by turning on one of their own when a deliberately unvaccinated child from the Northern N.S.W Coast was airlifted to a Brisbane ICU with tetanus. They dismissed the story as “manufactured,” accused the parents of being “actors,” of not tending to the child’s wound properly, along with accusing the hospital of causing the tetanus in the hospital setting. That is exactly what they did to Cormit Avital as well. They are all “love and light” until their beliefs are challenged, or until they are confronted with the consequences of those beliefs.
Four babies are soon to be born without the benefit of protection from whooping cough. I do hope that luck is on their side.