A mum’s Facebook post has gone viral after sharing shocking images of her son with chicken pox, who was too young to be vaccinated against the illness.
Kayley Burke, of Queensland, Australia, uploaded the images of her 11-month-old son Elijah, alongside a desperate plea for other parents to get their children immunised.
‘Vaccinate your kids people. The pictures below show you exactly why,’ she wrote.
‘Our poor baby boy who is too young to be immunised has caught the chicken pox. It has almost been a week since they showed up.. Today he was admitted to Ipswich Hospital with a secondary infection.’
She adds that both she and older daughter Kaliah, who had only recently had the vaccination, have caught chicken pox from the little one, saying ‘Adult chicken pox is so horrible and painful I would much rather give birth with no pain relief.’
‘Bottom line if you don’t vaccinate your kids your a bloody idiot,’ she concludes. ‘Think about the risk you are putting on other helpless kids that are too young or who actually can’t be vaccinated!’
Within a day of being posted, Kayley’s message has been shared almost 10,000 times, and received countless supportive comments from other parents.
‘A perfect example of why people should vaccinate. My thoughts are with you all’, one wrote, while another added, ‘Oh my gosh, poor bub! Can’t stand hearing about stupid selfish people not vaccinating their children. Hope you all don’t have to suffer this too much longer’.
‘If even one more person vaccinates because of this post it’d be a win. But you and you family shouldn’t have to go through this. Man it makes me angry,’ a third commenter agreed.
See posts, photos and more on Facebook.
In Australia, the Department of Health’s recommendation is that children have a varicella, or chickenpox, vaccine at 18 months old.
However, the chickenpox vaccine is not offered as part of the NHS Childhood Vaccine Program in the UK, and is only given to those who may be particularly vulnerable if they come into contact with chicken pox – for instance, those undergoing chemotherapy.
‘While chickenpox during childhood is unpleasant, the vast majority of children recover quickly and easily. In adults, chickenpox is more severe and the risk of complications increases with age,’ the NHS explains.
If a childhood chickenpox vaccination programme was introduced, people would not catch chickenpox as children because the infection would no longer circulate in areas where the majority of children had been vaccinated.’
‘If you vaccinate children against chickenpox, you lose this natural boosting, so immunity in adults will drop and more shingles cases will occur.’