It’s bad enough when people don’t get vaccinated because they believe in pseudoscience. But when the vaccines are free and you’re putting your children at risk, it’s completely irresponsible:
A six-year-old child who lives in the Catalan city of Olot (Girona) has been admitted to hospital with the first recorded case of diphtheria in Spain since 1986.
Catalan health authorities have confirmed that the little boy had not been immunized against the infectious disease, despite the free vaccination programs offered by Spanish public health services.
Because the disease is contagious, the local government is monitoring (and giving preventative medicine to) up to 150 people who may have come into contact with the child.
The diagnosis caught Spanish authorities off guard. There was no anti-toxin available in the country to treat the patient because it is such a rare condition.
An international alert was issued for help. Russia’s ambassador to Spain reportedly stepped in, arranging for a dose to be flown in from Moscow. Further doses are reportedly due to be delivered.
Somewhere, Jenny McCarthy is thinking, See?! We’re bringing nations together!
This disease was completely preventable. But because the parents are ignorant for reasons only they know, an entire community (and beyond) is at risk. How is this not a criminal offense by now?
***Update*** (6/9/15): The family says they were “tricked” by anti-vaccination groups:
“The family is devastated and admit that they feel tricked, because they were not properly informed,” said Catalan public health chief Antoni Mateu. “They have a deep sense of guilt, which we are trying to rid them of.”
Furthermore, the Spanish government says the couple will not be charged with any crime.
(Image via Shutterstock)