Mom Plans to Protest Vaccination Laws by Opening 'No Vax' Childcare Center

baby leg vaccineWhat would you say if I told you that a mom was thinking about opening up a daycare center strictly for unvaccinated children? Don't worry, that's not happening here -- but it could happen in Australia, if one mom gets her way (and authorities are not pleased!).

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Mother-of-two Juanita "Wanda" Halden, who lives in an area of Australia's east coast known as an "anti-vaccination hotspot," is upset that the federal government is planning to strip welfare payments of parents who don’t get their children vaccinated, so she recently wrote a post on Facebook asking local parents if they would be "interested in a center that caters to children whose parents refuse to get them vaccinated." And after getting a significant amount of positive feedback, Halden is now apparently planning on starting a child care facility called “The No Vax Child Care Centre.”

“I am of the opinion that proposed No Vax Child Care Centre participants would be in a position of less susceptibility to serious communicable diseases based on the knowledge that the parents of these children already have,” Halden told the Daily Telegraph.

“They already know the risks, they already know that the heart of immunity boosting and disease resistance lays within gut flaura strengthening and that homeopathic programs offer a safer alternative than the current multiple injection vaccine schedule.”

“The No Vax Child Care Centre is a project idea. R & D will commence in 2016. I have been approached by a small number of mothers and I continue to receive messages and online comments from parents in support of this stance."

More from The Stir: Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccines?

Hey, what could go wrong? A lot, of course -- which is how Australian shadow health minister Walt Secord feels.

“It is irresponsible, dangerous, and ridiculous - and puts the whole community in danger of measles, whooping cough, mumps, and other deadly diseases,” he said.

“Sadly, parts of the north coast have the lowest vaccination rates in Australia - that puts the whole community in jeopardy and is against all sensible public health messages.”

Paul Corben, director of public health in Harden's area, agrees:

“In the recent past, we’ve had two young babies on the north coast of New South Wales who have died during the course of whooping cough outbreaks,” he told ABC. 

“That’s an unconscionable tragedy for those families.”

Of course he's right, and while I'm not sure that taking away families' welfare benefits is the right way to handle this issue, I do agree that the concept of a "no vax" child care center does sound like something of a public health nightmare. It's definitely something that would never, ever fly in the U.S. (at least I don't think so). Let's just hope that the kids and families involved all manage to stay safe and healthy!


Image via Owen and Aki/Flickr

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