Mom explains why she isn't vaccinating her children
Over the past couple of centuries, the human race has made leaps and bounds in the medical field. Our lifespans have increased thanks to better understanding of diet and exercise, new technology has allowed us to identify and cure illnesses that might formally have been fatal, and, in the more developed world, we've almost all but eliminated life-threatening diseases such as polio and cholera.
Unfortunately, there's a group of people out there whose beliefs are threatening to take us all the way back to the 1800s. They are, of course, anti-vaxxers.
Ever since a factually incorrect paper linking the MMR vaccine to autism was published in 1998, more and more parents have been avoiding getting their children immunised. This inevitably leads to greater health risks - not just for the child, but for any immunocompromised people they might encounter.
Still, some people elect to avoid giving their kids the shots they need - and one mother has come forward to explain why.
Shanelle Cartwright, who is married to Australian rugby player Bryce Cartwright, says that she and her husband have chosen not to vaccinate their 13-month-old son, and will not be immunising the second baby they have on the way, either. Her main reason for this decision, she says, is that she feels that she is still "healing" from her own vaccinations.
"I remember [Bryce] was so defensive when I first brought it up and got angry at me for even suggesting that we shouldn't vaccinate," said 20-year-old Shanelle, who is expecting her second child any day now. "And then he read a package insert and few pages of one of Dr Suzanne Humphries' books and saw vaccines under a different light. And now we're here."
Shanelle and Bryce were both vaccinated when they were young, but claim that they suffer from "allergies and auto-immune disorders" which they believe they might not have developed had they gone unvaccinated. As a result, they are abstaining from any future inoculations.
"We now obviously don't vaccinate ourselves and are in the (slooooow) process of healing."
Shanelle has also revealed that she doesn't plan to give her newborn nappies, either, as she believes that the baby will stop messing itself thanks to "instinct".
"For this baby we are going to try no nappies and do elimination communication, especially if we have a girl," she said. "All mammals will instinctively NOT soil their nest and will eliminate where mum tells them to. You don't s**t your pants because you know it's uncomfortable and yucky.
"Just like you teach a kitten to go in a litter box or a puppy to only go outside - you teach a baby the same."
According to the World Health Organisation, anti-vaxxers are one of the top ten threats to global health in 2019.
"Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases," they explain. "Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved."
Like many others, though, Shanelle refuses to listen to the scientific evidence presented to her.