A vocal “vaccination awareness” campaigner has been slammed after pleading for an “offensive” anti-vax name to be ditched.
A mothers group who called for the term “anti-vaxxer” to be scrapped, calling it “highly-offensive” have received heavy criticism online.
US-based group Crazy Mothers, who describe themselves as on a mission to “spread vaccine injury and recovery awareness, took to social media recently to implore for the term anti-vaxxer to be “retired” from use.
Instead, Crazy Mothers suggested people refer to those who choose not to vaccinate their children as “vaccine risk aware”.
Despite only having a small following of 1155 on Twitter, the tweet quickly gathered momentum — but not how the organisation would have hoped.
While people flocked to share the tweet, it was to call the plea “misguided” and “irresponsible”.
The controversial “anti-vax” trend became a talking point this year with the alarming numbers of health scares happening here in Australia and around the world.
Measles is re-emerging in countries such as Japan, the US, Canada, parts of Europe and New Zealand on a scale not seen for decades.
Recently, Samoa has brought in compulsory vaccination and warned anti-vaxxers after 57 children died in an epidemic sweeping the South Pacific nation.
2200 people have been diagnosed with the infectious disease since the outbreak in September, leaving a shocking death toll that includes 26 infants under the age of 12 months, Stuff.co.nz reports.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) blamed the anti-vax movement for the measles outbreak.
Figures, released by the WHO in February, found Europe experienced a record number of people impacted by measles in 2018, with experts blaming anti-vaxxer messaging as a main driver behind the spike.
“WHO urges European countries to target their interventions to those places and groups where immunisation gaps persist,” the statement said.
Currently, unvaccinated children are banned from enrolling in preschool in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland under the “no jab, no play” laws.
At a federal level, the Australian government has previously introduced laws that link immunisations to benefit payments available to families.
If a family does not fully immunise their children up to the age of 19, they will not be able to claim the full amount of family tax benefit or child care benefits, the Department of Human Services states.
Despite being warned by government health authorities, anti-vax voices are being heard loudly around the world, with a string of Hollywood celebrities and prominent rugby league WAG Taylor Winterstein vocalising their opposition to vaccinations.
According to the Crazy Mothers website, they are helping to give “true informed consent” on the decision to vaccinate or not.
In a post from August 2019, the mum behind the group explained she is a “mother who witnessed her child react negatively to a set of vaccines”.