A powerful pro-vaccination sign penned by an Australian doctor has struck a chord with mothers around the world.
Dr Rachel Heap – who works in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales – wrote the poster in a compelling stance against ‘professional anti-vaxxers’.
The intensive care specialist decided to create the poster after spending more than 10 years treating ‘many patients with vaccine preventable diseases’.
Her note, which was written two years ago, emerged on social media this week after a US mother spotted the powerful words of warning framed up on the wall of a doctor’s office in Colorado.
A powerful pro-vaccination sign penned by an Australian doctor has struck a chord with mothers around the world (pictured in a doctor’s clinic in Colorado)
Taking to Facebook, Sunni Mariah shared the snap of the sign, with the caption: ‘New sign at my dr’s office is throwing some serious shade #vaccinateyourkids.’
And within four days, her social media post has attracted more than 166,000 ‘shares’, 24,000 ‘likes’ and 4,000 comments.
The note opens with the line: ‘Not vaccinating your kids leaves them vulnerable to disease their whole lives.
‘When your daughter gets rubella when pregnant, how are you going to explain that you chose to leave her at risk?
‘What will you say when she calls you and tells you she has cervical cancer because you decided that she wouldn’t need the HPV vaccine?
‘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?
‘Do you tell them that you didn’t think these diseases were that serious? That you thought that your organic, home cooked food was enough to protect them?
‘Do you say sorry?’
Dr Rachel Heap (pictured) – who works in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales – wrote the poster in a compelling stance against ‘professional anti-vaxxers’
Speaking to Mamamia, Dr Heap revealed the inspiration to fight against the anti-vaxxer movement stemmed from a heartbreaking reason.
‘The ghosts of the people that I’ve looked after keep driving me,’ she said.
She explained those ‘ghosts’ were the patients who have tragically died vaccine preventable diseases, including influenza, chicken pox, shingles, cervical cancer, hepatitis, meningococcal and more.
Dr Heap said her patients included: ‘The 28-year-old guy who died of late complications of whooping cough’ and a baby who also died from pertussis.
‘How can I not continue this fight? And no, I’m not paid for it. Most of the people in the pro-vax field, we do this in our spare time, because we are passionate about protecting the vulnerable,’ she added.
The intensive care specialist decided to create the poster after spending more than 10 years treating ‘many patients with vaccine preventable diseases’ (stock image)
On her website, Dr Heap explained the ‘heartbreaking tragedy’ she worked in rural and remote Australia to stabilise critically ill and injured people.
‘The work was challenging, funny, interesting, tiring, and a whole lot more. But it was also upsetting and frustrating,’ she said.
‘I have seen heartbreaking tragedy – I have seen physical pain and suffering, social pain and suffering, and harrowing grief, on a scale that has been, at times, incomprehensible. It leaves scars.
‘The best I was able to do professionally in my work in that time was to “stick a band aid” on that pain, and subsequently survive the burn-out that came with it.
‘I decided that the fight to increase vaccination rates was something I would not walk past without at least trying to help.
‘My approach has been to try and help my community, and those further afield, understand why vaccine preventable diseases are bad, and that vaccines are the safest and most effective way to protect everyone from them.’