IN a move that has shocked health authorities, anti-vaxxers are going underground and are setting up black market child care in response to the â€˜no jab, no playâ€™ laws.
The parents, who refuse to vaccinate their children, are skirting new state and federal laws that mean they lose childcare rebates if vaccines arenâ€™t up to date, reportsThe Courier Mail. Childcare centres will be allowed to reject unvaccinated children from January.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are using Facebook to offer to care for each otherâ€™s children, which authorities have labelled as â€œreckless, scaryâ€ and â€œa crazy moveâ€.
The Federal Government was warned earlier this month that â€œunderground servicesâ€ would pop up to beat the laws.
Health authorities are now worried the groups will be a hotbed for disease, potentially allowing deadly illnesses like whooping cough to rip through clusters of unvaccinated babies and toddlers.
One woman, from near Ipswich, QLD, posted that she was willing to care for otherâ€™s children next year and would accept cash as payment â€œequivalent to whatever childcare fees are now with the rebateâ€.
Another woman posted a â€œrallying cryâ€ urging people not to â€œgive up hopeâ€ in the face of law changes, vowing that if authorities thought they could take away their child care â€œwe will make our ownâ€.
These underground childcare groups are not only slated for Queensland. The first rumbles of no vax childcare began in September whenThe Daily Telegraph interviewed Juanita â€œWandaâ€ Holden from NSW, a mother of two who was keen to start a â€œNo Vax Schoolâ€.
â€œThe No Vacc Child Care Centre is a project idea. R & D will commence in 2016. I have been approached by a small number of mothers and I continue to receive messages and online comments from parents in support of this stance,â€ she said.
The idea appalled the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Leslie Williams.
â€œAs a former nurse, I am appalled that a service of this type would be suggested,â€ she said.
â€œIn NSW, we have a â€˜no jab, no playâ€™ policy. Services who do not comply face penalties, including prosecution,â€ Williams said.
Health Minister Sussan Ley echoed these sentiments and said the emerging practice was frightening. Education Minister Simon Birmingham called it â€œoutrageousâ€ as he urged black market providers to rethink their â€œreckless plansâ€.
Australiaâ€™s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, said the notion of a â€œvaccine-free environmentâ€ made no sense at all and threatened children too young or sick to be immunised.
The Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Chris Zappala said he was â€œappalled and surprisedâ€ and accused providers of â€œprofiteeringâ€ from misinformation. He said their discussion was â€œill informed and almost hystericalâ€.
Paul Corben, Director of Public Health for the Northern NSW Local Health District said a group of unvaccinated children together was akin to â€œan incubator.â€
â€œA lot of vulnerable people together supports the rapid transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases. Itâ€™s like throwing fuel on a fire … itâ€™s not a clever idea.â€
After The Courier Mail published their original article shedding light on the underground childcare movement, â€˜Fans of the AVNâ€™ Facebook page were outraged:
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