Aussie doctor's confronting vaccination message spreading around the world

A pro-vaccination message written by an Australian doctor has struck a chord with parents around the world after it was spotted in a Colorado waiting room.

Dr Rachel Heap, who works in the NSW Northern Rivers region, has never minced her words when it comes to vaccinating children.

A fierce pro-vaccination campaigner, Dr Heap in 2016 wrote a confronting message on the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters website – a message that is now being shared all around the world.

Denver resident Sunni Mariah was waiting for her appointment when she noticed the sign which she described as “throwing some serious shade”.

New sign at my Dr’s office is throwing some serious shade vaccinateyourkidsEdit: the original poster was written by Northern Rivers Vaccination Association

Posted by Sunni Mariah on Friday, July 20, 2018

“Not vaccinating your kids leaves them vulnerable to disease their whole lives,” the note reads.

“When your daughter gets rubella when pregnant, how are you going to explain that you chose to leave her at risk?

“What do you tell your son when he breaks the news to you that he cannot have kids, thanks to the mumps that he got as a teenager?”

Ms Mariah snapped a photo and shared the message to Facebook. It has since been shared nearly 200,000 times.

Dr Heap, an intensive care specialist, has spent years dispelling mistruths spread by anti-vaxxers.

Dr Heap said it is the ghosts of people she has previously treated that drives her pro-vaccination message. Source: Getty
Dr Heap said it is the ghosts of people she has previously treated that drives her pro-vaccination message. Source: Getty

She told Mamamia it’s the ghosts of the people she’s looked after that keeps driving her.

“I’ve got countless, endless other ones, because people don’t count the adults,” she said.

“The 28-year-old guy who died of late complications of whooping cough. The people who’ve died of influenza – young, healthy people as well as the older and more frail,” she said.

“Name a vaccine-preventable disease, other than polio, and I’ve seen it directly.”

Earlier this year Australia clamped down on its “no jab, no pay” policy by issuing further fines for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Back in 2016, the initiative withheld end of year tax benefits from families which refused to vaccinate their children. But in a bid to crack down on even further, stricter sanctions kick-started in July.

Now, parents who refuse to keep up to date with immunisations face losing $28 from their family tax benefits every fortnight.