Pickering mom slams 'anti-vaxxers' after baby possibly exposed to measles
Jennifer Hibben-White's Facebook post on the vaccination debate widely shared
A Pickering, Ont., mother claims the anti-vaccination movement has placed her newborn baby's life in danger.
The woman says she brought her weeks-old son to the doctor's office only to hear later the infant may have been exposed to measles. The incident comes amid an intense debate around vaccinations.
Jennifer Hibben-White's ordeal began in a Markham doctor's office on Jan. 27, and her story is now trending around the world after she wrote an angry Facebook post about people who do not believe in vaccinations, or anti-vaxxers.
On Feb. 9, York Region Health called to inform her that another patient in the waiting room was infected with measles, and she and her family may have come into contact with the virus, which is airborne.
Hibben-White has no doubt who is to blame.
"I won't get angry at or blame the person in the waiting room," she wrote in her post. "If you have chosen to not vaccinate yourself or your child, I blame you. I blame you."
Hibben-White's son, Griffin, is too young to receive the measles vaccination, but everyone else in her family has been vaccinated. Should her youngest develop measles, she notes that death is "a potential outcome."
Hibben-White says she knows this outcome very well, as her five-year-old daughter died from an infection.
Her assault on the anti-vaccination movement comes at time when the debate between vaccinating or not is at a fever pitch. A vaccine-free daycare cropped up in Ottawa, while a public health instructor at Queen's University was suspended over teaching anti-vaccination ideas in a class. In the United States, a public debate over vaccinations has involved celebrities, members of Congress and even the president.
Rona Ambrose, Canada's health minister, recently said the anti-vaccine movement puts children at risk.
Some of the fiercest debate about vaccinations appears on social networks, though. This is part of the reason Hibben-White's Facebook post has reached 210,000 shares.
"I watch these arguments trotted out on Facebook and Twitter citing false science and long discredited 'studies' that just won’t stop," she writes. "What would you have done if your child lay dying?"
Hibben-White will get an update on whether Griffin has indeed contracted measles on Feb. 17. Until then, she says, the two are waiting at their home in isolation.
Hibben-White ends her post with a sarcastic message to those who discredit vaccinations. "How is your week going, anti-vaxxers?"