The anti-vaccination movement has caused a lot of emotional responses from the public, and for good reason. Unvaccinated children can pose a serious health risk for other children who are unable to receive vaccinations. One mother of such a child, Camille Echols, wrote a powerful message for anti-vaxxers on Facebook after her child was admitted to the hospital.
Echols, who's a pediatric nurse, claims that her child was exposed to chickenpox via an unvaccinated child and subsequently had to be taken to the emergency room. Because of an organ transplant at a young age, her daughter is unable to receive live vaccines that prevent diseases such as the chickenpox. Echols fears that her daughter could become "very, very sick" after the exposure. She shared her frustrations over Facebook, in a post that has since gone viral:
I've been relatively quiet on social media about the "Anti-vax" movement. I've seen smart-ass memes saying 'why would my unvaccinated kids be a threat to your vaccinated kids if you're so sure they work?' THIS is why. There are people who cannot have live vaccines, like my daughter, who had a kidney transplant when she was 2 years old. She got one varicella vaccine but couldn't get the second because she was immunosuppressed and instead of developing immunity, she would have contracted the virus.
The post was also accompanied by a terrifying photo of her daughter in a hospital room.
Echols isn't the only one making waves on the internet with complaints about the anti-vaxx movement this week. Last Week Tonight host John Oliver spent almost 30 minutes of his most recent show singing the praises of vaccinations, calling them "one of humanity’s most incredible accomplishments."
A father himself, the talkshow host shared his experience with vaccination:
Parenthood in general is f*cking terrifying. I have a son. He is 19 months old. He was born prematurely following a very difficult pregnancy. And I was worried about his health and I still worry about his health a lot. But we are vaccinating him fully on schedule.
As for those feeding the anti-vaxx fires, Oliver deems them "opportunistic quacks."
Echols has since updated her post, answering questions found in the comments. She explained that her daughter was admitted to the emergency room and is receiving VZIG, which is a medication that helps people with weakened immune systems fight off viruses. The VZIG treatments cost around $5,000.
She closed out the post with a call to action for the anti-vaxxers:
Please, if you are someone who believes your child will get autism from vaccines, PLEASE educate yourself. There isn't a single peer reviewed study that came to that conclusion. And the people choosing to skip vaccinations put children like my daughter at risk. She has been through SO much already. And this was avoidable.