Mum caught up in anti-jabcontroversy

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph

Port Hedland resident Amanda Hooton says she has felt the wrath of a thousand stinging needles from social media after being caught in an anti-vaccination controversy.

Primary schools, playgroups and other parents have allegedly turned against the mother of four after she was named by anonymous pro-immunisation online blogger Reasonable Hank on January 29.

The blogger alleged she had lied to medical staff to gain “medical exemption by deception” for two of her four children and Centrelink entitlements by using photos of her eldest daughter’s penicillin reaction.

Ms Hooton said she had been jabbed because she was a member of Facebook group Anti-Vaccination Australia, despite her three eldest children being up to date with vaccinations.

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“My youngest daughter is exempt but the way they’ve said it’s happened, hasn’t happened,” she said. “At 19 months, my youngest had her vaccinations ... within 15 minutes, they rushed her to Princess Margaret Hospital, she was put on life support and anaphylactic. We went to an immunologist in Perth and he confirmed that it was a preservative she was allergic to but all my other children are vaccinated.”

Ms Hooton said schools had since asked for vaccination confirmation, she had been contacted by The West Australian, and had received threatening messages from strangers.

“I had four or five different messages from people I don’t know saying my children were disease-infested and that I shouldn’t have children, it’s horrible,” she said.

“I’ve been bullied — completely and utterly. I’ve got friends messaging me saying my kids can’t play with theirs anymore.

“I don’t even get benefits because my husband earns too much.

“I’ve got no gain out of not getting my children vaccinated.”

WA Country Health Service Pilbara regional director Margi Faulkner said vaccinations were widely accepted by the public as a highly effective way to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases.

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