Here’s what your child is exposed to without the proper vaccination.
A heartbreaking video of a little baby with the whooping cough is making a powerful statement on vaccination. The video below of 4-month-old Austin suffering from pertussis was uploaded by mom Rebecca Harremanon Facebook accompanied by a backstory and her pro-vaccination stance in the video's description.
The video shows Austin with swollen and teary eyes as he is racked with a coughing fit. Harreman soothes him by caressing his face and talking to him. Harreman writes that her son has had the cough for the past 23 days since the video recording, adding that the coughing fit in the video was already mild. The one above was “nothing compared to watching him turn blue from coughing for so long and so much he can't take a single breath...”
“I've been on duty for over 3 weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing. Every. Single. Time. I cannot and will not pass that duty to anyone else, because I just can't sleep,” Harreman wrote on the post.
“So for those of you sitting on the fence on whether to vaccinate yourself and your kids or not... maybe this video will convince you.”
According to Harreman, Austin was vaccinated against the pertussis which as the doctors told her, along with her son’s size and age, would help her son fight the disease.
“I don't care whether you want to try and prove to me that vaccinations and herd immunities don't work,” she writes. “You know why? Because at least at the end of the day I tried to do something to prevent this and not sit there and say ‘oh well, vaccinations don't work so I'll just sit here and do nothing’... because doing nothing goes against every cell in my body as a mother,” she says.
Harreman concludes by inviting others to share her video to spread awareness. As of writing, the video has been viewed over 2 million times according to Facebook’s view counter.
Two days after the video was posted, Harreman made a follow-up post addressing the backlash she received after publicly sharing her pro-vaccination stance. “I didn't intend to offend anyone in particular with my views. Because they are just that - MY views,” she writes.
“But since some anti-vaxxers seem to feel they can share and say anything they want, even if it is unreliable, and I'm not allowed to have my say or share my own personal experience... well then I say bring it!
No more turning a blind eye and not sharing opinions for fear it will upset someone else. It's called freedom of speech. If they can say what they want, then so can I.”
According to Mayo Clinic, a whooping cough or pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It causes severe coughing fits which, afterwards, causes the patient to struggle with catching their breath producing a characteristically “whoop” sound.
Adults rarely die from the disease but deaths in infants are common. “Children aren't fully immune to whooping cough until they've received at least three shots, leaving those 6 months and younger at greatest risk of contracting the infection,” according to Mayo Clinic.
Experts stress the importance of vaccination not just for babies but for pregnant women and for those who are in close contact with infants as well.