A Facebook user claiming his seven-year-old son died from a ‘massive heart attack’ in on the way to hospital after getting the Covid vaccine has had his claim debunked by health officials – who said ‘there is no record’ of his claims.
The user, who claimed to be a Sydney dad called Steve Leary, wrote a lengthy post detailing tragic death of his son Lachlan last Wednesday, saying the ‘government has ruined my family’ after introducing jabs for kids as young as five.
‘They have taken away our only son, we put our trust in the government to keep us safe and they killed my boy!’ Mr Leary wrote, using a profile picture later revealed to be stolen from an American man.
The account has since been deleted after Westmead Children’s Hospital, where ‘Lachlan’ allegedly died, said they had no record of his death.
A Facebook user claiming to be a Sydney ‘father’ said his seven-year-old son died from a ‘massive heart attack’ in on the way to hospital after getting the Covid vaccine – but it wasn’t true
The profile had been using the images of another man named Steve Leary, who is running for commissioner of Orange County in Florida and is mayor of a town called Winter Park.
‘Just want to give you a heads up. Your name and images are being used for a fake story about covid immunisation death of a young child in Australia,’ a friend wrote on his Facebook page.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Leary for comment on the account using his pictures.
The person imitating Mr Leary wrote last week that son Lachlan had been immunised against Covid a few days before his ‘death’.
‘He had been unwell on Wednesday night with a fever and we monitored him closely, 6am the next morning he started having breathing difficulties so we took him to Westmead Hospital,’ he wrote.
‘They tried to stop us from going in with him but it did not work.’
However, the account has since been deleted after Westmead Hospital, where ‘Lachlan’ allegedly died, said they had no record of his death
‘Mr Leary’ then claims his son was discharged, before finding him unconscious after suffering a ‘massive heart attack’.
‘4 hours passed after many tests. He was sent home 5 hours later. Friday morning at 4am we heard him yell out, he was on his bedroom floor, he then collapsed, he was not breathing, my wife and I began CPR, I called the ambo on loud speaker.’
The person then said ‘Lachlan’ was loaded into the back of an ambulance but he died before he got to hospital after suffering a ‘massive heart attack’.
‘Ambo arrived within 7 mins, my son passed away in the ambulance,’ the person wrote.
‘The government has ruined my family, they have taken away our only son, we put our trust in the government to keep us safe and they killed my boy!’
Westmead Children’s Hospital confirmed in a statemant they had no records of such an incident occurring, with NSW Health and TGA also claiming the post was a fake
In a statement, Westmead Children’s Hospital, where the post alleges ‘Lachlan’ died, said it had ‘no record’ of the boy.
‘There are many inaccurate posts currently circulating on social media,’ the hospital said.
‘There is no record of any child having passed away following Covid vaccination at our hospital.’
NSW Health also confirmed they were unable to ‘locate any record of any such incident’.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement they had received no reports of an ‘adverse event’ that involved ‘the death of any children aged between 5 and 11 years.’
Mr Leary, the mayor of Winter Park in Florida, saw his account suspended after the account used his images
His false claim, which was read by hundreds of worried parents online, comes after the Pfizer Covid vaccine was deemed safe for kids as young as five.
Families have been encouraged to get their children vaccinated before schools return in NSW and Victoria next week.
Children in the five to 11 age bracket are being given two doses eight weeks apart. Each dose will be a third as strong as the vaccines given to those over the age of 12.
The vaccine is a special formulation and will be delivered in doses small enough to generate an immune response that’s as strong as a full adult dose.
The aim is to prevent children from developing severe illness or transmitting the virus to another person.
‘I know many parents will be very keen to get their children vaccinated so they can join the rest of us and face a future with more confidence,’ Victoria’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said earlier this month.
NSW Chief Paediatrician Matthew O’Meara said the weakened vaccine has been tested on thousands of children first and second doses have been given in other countries and is safe for children aged between five and 11.
Dr O’Meara said any side effects were minor.
‘Many kids complain about a bit of a sore arm for a day or two afterwards,’ he said.
‘But the headache, muscle ache, fever, chills and nausea … is pretty uncommon in children and can be managed with the usual pain-relieving medications.’
Dr O’Meara acknowledged parents may be weighing up the risks and benefits of giving a young child a vaccine but stressed Covid-19 was usually mild in children.
‘In fact, many children will have no symptoms at all and a large number will have mild symptoms of a cough, cold, runny nose and fever that lasts up to five days.’
But some children can become seriously ill and require hospitalisation if they aren’t vaccinated. About one or two in every 100 would need to go to hospital and one in 1000 would end up in intensive care.
‘We expect those numbers to be lower with the Omicron strain but it’s still not an entirely benign disease,’ Dr O’Meara said.
Premier Dominic Premier says the rollout will ensure schools open on time for the first day of the new term in 2022.
‘We want a seamless transition back into the school year,’ he added.
How to book your child a vaccine appointment:
Those wanting to book in their child for a vaccination are encouraged to visit the Vaccine Clinic Finder website
Once there, parents can type in their address and find the nearest clinic which offers the jabs.
Alternatively those in each state can visit their local GPs or health clinics
NSW: Visit a NSW Health clinic or find a location near you on the Vaccine Clinic Finder
Victoria: Bookings are available at Victorian GPs and pharmacies using the Australian Government’s Vaccine Clinic Finder and at state vaccination centres
ACT: Parents can ring (02) 5124 7700, between 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week to book in their child at a vaccination centre or use the Vaccine Clinic Finder to book in at a GP
WA: Parents can register for their children to book a vaccination online through the VaccinateWA site
SA: Appointments can be booked on the state government’s website and are available at most GPs, pharmacies and clinics
NT: Bookings are available online through the state government’s Covid-19 website
Tasmania: Parents can book appointments for special children’s clinics by visiting the booking page or calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
Queensland: Parents can create a ‘dependent person’ in the Queensland Health vaccine booking system and use the Vaccine Clinic Finder to book their child in
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