The anti-vaxxer wife of NRL star Bryce Cartwright has claimed their children’s ‘picture of health’ proves the couple’s decision not to vaccinate them is working.
Defiantly challenging the overwhelming weight of medical science, Shanelle Cartwright refuses to give her children Koa, two, and Naia, one, Panadol, let alone get them vaccinated.
It comes as her Gold Coast Titans star husband, 25, faces the possibility of being banned from the NRL after telling team doctors he will refuse a compulsory flu shot.
Cartwright will have the opportunity to fight any potential suspension, but would have to explain his stance to NRL chief medical officer Paul Bloomfield.
The vaccination is part of the league’s strict biosecurity protocol – mandated to all 480 players across the NRL’s 16 clubs – to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading when the season resumes on May 28.
Pictured: NRL star Bryce Cartwright with his wife Shanelle and their son Koa, two. She has written an impassioned defence of her opposition to vaccinations – saying she does not even give either of her two children Panadol
Bryce and Shanelle Cartwright are pictured together. He has refused to follow the NRL’s call for all players to vaccinate ahead of the league’s return
Addressing the scrutiny around her husband’s refusal to be given the jab, Mrs Cartwright defended their right to choose the medical procedures they undergo.
‘Our kids are a picture of health,’ Mrs Cartwright wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday evening.
‘They’ve never had an ear infection, never had a chest infection or bronchitis, they have no neuro-developmental disorders or auto-immune disorders and are rarely ever sick.
‘They’ve never had a round of antibiotics are any other pharmaceutical drug for that matter.’
Alongside the post, she shared a photo of her footy star husband holding their youngest child.
She said she and her husband were doing the best with the knowledge they had at their disposal, while hitting out at those who had dubbed her family ‘anti-vaxxers’.
Mrs Cartwright (pictured with her husband) said the couple were doing the best they could for to ensure the health of their children with the knowledge they had at their disposal
In an impassioned social media post, Mrs Cartwright said she even refuses to give her children Koa, two, and Naia, one, the pain killer Panadol or any pharmaceutical drug
Alongside the post, she shared a photo of her footy star husband holding their youngest child
‘What we’re doing is going seemingly well seeing the state of their health,’ she said.
‘If it’s not clear, we’re not “anti” anything. We stand for medical freedom and the right to choose.’
Her Instagram post came as the ARLC chairman Peter V’landys and commissioners were due to meet on Tuesday night to decide what to do with players who refuse to get the flu jab.
Those players could be asked to sign a waiver if they’re allowed to play without the vaccine.
Titans head of performance and culture Mal Meninga confirmed Cartwright’s fate would be decided by the NRL and not by the club.
Cartwright (pictured with his eldest child and wife at his 2018 wedding) faces the risk of a NRL ban due to the couple’s controversial stance on vaccinations
‘It’s going to be interesting to see how that’s handled. We’re all waiting on the chief medical officer’s opinion,’ he told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
‘I imagine the government chief medical officer would be reluctant to allow those players to come into camp.’
The Australian and Queensland rugby league legend supported the strict new measures, despite the threat of Cartwright being sidelined.
‘We’re in the bubble under really strict biosecurity measures. The game relies on these measures to be enforced,’ Meninga said.
Cartwright’s wife stood by his decision when she took to Instagram on Tuesday.
Shanelle Cartwright took to Instagram to share an anti-vax message after her husband indicated to club officials that he will refuse to get the flu jab
‘No jab, no job,’ Shanelle captioned a screenshot of a news article regarding NRL anti-vaxxers.
‘It might not be relevant to you now but bet your bottom dollar this will be the new normal if we don’t stand up now.’
Cartwright’s Titans teammate Nathan Peats has also jumped to his defence on Instagram.
Mr V’landys warned there would be sanctions for players who don’t follow the guidelines when Project Apollo protocols were launched last week.
‘There will be sanctions. We’ve got no option, there must be a deterrent because one reckless act will bring down an entire competition and the livelihoods that come with that,’ he said in a statement.
‘We will continue to work with the RLPA about what those sanctions will be for individual players.’
Project Apollo Chair Wayne Pearce added: ‘These protocols will be tough, but they need to be to ensure player, staff and community health and safety.’
WHY VACCINES ARE IMPORTANT
Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them.
Immunisation not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by reducing the spread of preventable diseases.
Research and testing is an essential part of developing safe and effective vaccines.
In Australia, vaccines must pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register them for use. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years.
Before vaccines become available to the public, large clinical trials test them on thousands of people.
High-quality studies over many years have compared the health of large numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Medical information from nearly 1.5 million children around the world have confirmed that vaccination does not cause autism.
People first became concerned about autism and immunisation after the medical journal The Lancet published a paper in 1998. This paper claimed there was a link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Since then, scientists have completely discredited this paper. The Lancet withdrew it in 2010 and printed an apology. The UK’s General Medical Council struck the author off the medical register for misconduct and dishonesty.
Source: Australian Department of Health
Mrs Cartwright admitted to followers in an Instagram Q & A last year that convincing her husband to see the what she misguidedly believes are the ‘harms of vaccination’ had ‘taken some work’, but he eventually came around.
‘I remember he [Bryce] was so defensive when I first brought it up and got angry at me for even suggesting that we shouldn’t vaccinate,’ Mrs Cartwright said at the time.
When asked by one follower whether she vaccinated her eldest son, Mrs Cartwright said she was firmly against injecting her children.
‘He’s not vaccinated – none of our babes will be,’ the young mother replied.
As a follow-up question the glamorous WAG was asked whether this would affect her children going to school.
Bryce Cartwright (right) returned to training on Monday to prepare for the NRL’s return
But Mrs Cartwright said if unvaccinated children were one day banned from schools she already had a contingency plan in place.
‘They can go to school (so far)… if the law changes, I’ll home school before I vaccinate,’ she said.
The couple have received backlash after they came out as anti-vaxxers.
Health authorities have warned that not immunising children threatens the public’s ‘herd immunity’ against disease.
‘Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect you and your children from harmful, contagious diseases. It also safeguards the health of other people, now and for future generations,’ the Australian government’s health department says.
‘Before vaccination campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough killed thousands of children. Today, it is extremely rare to die from these diseases in Australia.’