Health minister condemns ‘frightening’ practice of underground anti-vaxxer … – NEWS.com.au

Health authorities are worried ‘underground childcare groups’ will be a hotbed for disease, potentially allowing deadly illnesses like whooping cough to rip through clusters of unvaccinated babies and toddlers.

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 ‘no jab, no play’ laws.

The parents, who refuse to vaccinate their children, are skirting new state and federal laws that mean they lose childcare rebates if vaccines aren’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 other’s children, which authorities have labelled as “reckless, scary” and “a crazy move”.

The Federal Government was warned earlier this month that “underground services” 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 other’s children next year and would accept cash as payment “equivalent to whatever childcare fees are now with the rebate”.

Another woman posted a “rallying cry” urging people not to “give up hope” in the face of law changes, vowing that if authorities thought they could take away their child care “we will make our own”.

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 “Wanda” Holden from NSW, a mother of two who was keen to start a “No Vax School”.

Juanita Wanda Halden plans to open an “Anti-Vaxx Child Care Centre”. Picture: Facebook

Juanita Wanda Halden plans to open an “Anti-Vaxx Child Care Centre”. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

“The 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,” she said.

The idea appalled the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Leslie Williams.

“As a former nurse, I am appalled that a service of this type would be suggested,” she said.

“In NSW, we have a ‘no jab, no play’ policy. Services who do not comply face penalties, including prosecution,” Williams said.

Health Minister Sussan Ley echoed these sentiments and said the emerging practice was frightening. Education Minister Simon Birmingham called it “outrageous” as he urged black market providers to rethink their “reckless plans”.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, said the notion of a “vaccine-free environment” 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 “appalled and surprised” and accused providers of “profiteering” from misinformation. He said their discussion was “ill informed and almost hysterical”.

Paul Corben, Director of Public Health for the Northern NSW Local Health District said a group of unvaccinated children together was akin to “an incubator.”

“A lot of vulnerable people together supports the rapid transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases. It’s like throwing fuel on a fire … it’s not a clever idea.”

After The Courier Mail published their original article shedding light on the underground childcare movement, ‘Fans of the AVN’ Facebook page were outraged:

Facebook posts on the Fans of the ANV page.

Facebook posts on the Fans of the ANV page.Source:Facebook

Facebook posts on the Fans of the ANV page.

Facebook posts on the Fans of the ANV page.Source:Facebook

Investigates claims by anti-vaxxers on the safety of vaccines. It’s a rare and controversial look inside the anti-vaxxer camp and the fear, hype and politics that have polarised the vaccine debate in America.