Anti-vaxer’s legal pitfall over vaccination-free child care
A PROPOSAL to establish a child care centre for unvaccinated children will hit significant legal problems, says a public health authority.
The assistant director of public health on the North Coast, Greg Bell, said there would be requirements from both NSW Health and the Department of Education, which would make it unlikely the centre would get approval.
"I think it will a lot harder for the proposal to gain approval than these people might think," he said. Local media has reported a Facebook post from Tabulam woman Juanita Wanda Halden proposing to set up the centre in the near future.
She has used social media to canvass support from people to support an anti-vaccination child care centre.
Ms Halden has refused interviews, but has been reported in a statement as being in the preliminary stages of planning and will release more information early next year.
The proposal would worry public health authorities if it came about, said Mr Bell.
"If people had their young ones attend such a place you would put them all at a higher risk," he said.
"If they are all together they would be very susceptible to infection and they would have none of the herd immunity vaccination rates in the wider community would normally bestow on them.
"These people who a getting these illnesses have to go back and live in the wider community as well."
But he said health regulations would make it very tough for a centre like this to continue.
"There are requirements they would have to meet, for example if the centre continued to have some of the diseases they would have very regularly," Mr Bell said.
"I've also heard from the Department of Education there are certain things that have to take place before they could be registered."
Mr Bell said there were some encouraging signs people's attitudes were changing to vaccination.
"The statistics show vaccination rates are stable and our vaccination nurses are saying more younger people are coming to ask about vaccinating their children," Mr Bell said.
"It also could be there are pockets of resistance to vaccination in the community."
Clarence Valley residents have voiced their opposition to the proposal on The Daily Examiner's Facebook page.
Mary Anne Buckler said people who were against vaccination should visit the old cemeteries and look at the graves of children who died from what are now preventable diseases.