WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The second pediatric flu death on the state of Colorado recorded after a mother refused to fill in a prescription for her family.
- The mother of four unvaccinated children sought medical advice from other Facebook users now that her children caught the flu.
- Groups including Stop Mandatory Vaccination now make Facebook a hotbed of false information.
The state of Colorado suffered its second pediatric flu death of the season days after the mother denied her four-year-old boy antiviral drugs prescribed by their doctor for her son.
The incident comes days after the mother has solicited advice on how to deal with the flu on a recent post “Stop Mandatory Vaccination, an anti-vaccine Facebook group. Screenshots of the now-deleted Facebook post, however, were posted online after NBC News first reported the story.
She detailed in this post that the doctor had prescribed the antiviral Tamiflu for everyone in the household after her 5-year-old and 10-month-old children both tested positive for the flu. She continues on to say that she has declined to fill in the prescription and opted to consult other Facebook group members for “natural remedies” upon describing the symptoms of her two sick children, neither of whom had been vaccinated against the flu.
None of the 45 comments on this post suggested seeking medical attention, as per NBC News. One of the group members responded, “you’re better off taking Vitamin D and C, Elderberry, Zinc, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.”
4-year-old son Najee Jr. died five days later.
“I’m hurting so bad right now and so is his dad and brothers. Our whole family is hurting and it feels like we failed him because we did what we had to do,” she told KKTV.
There were no records that indicate whether Najee was vaccinated says the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment after confirming the death of the 4-year-old boy.
The government urges anyone not immunized to get a vaccine shot given that it is the flu season.
“While flu is circulating, it is not too late to get a flu shot, and we recommend everyone ages six months and older who has not had the yearly vaccine, get it,” CDPHE told KKTV. “Children who are younger than 9 years who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time, and those under 9 who have only previously gotten one dose of the vaccine, should get two doses of the vaccine. The first dose should be given as soon as the vaccine becomes available. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose.”
8,200 people, including 54 children, died from this preventable disease in the United States this flu season despite evidence showing vaccine effectiveness and security.
Facebook has instigated small steps to reduce the visibility of the sheer volume of vaccine misinformation and redirect users searching for information on vaccines to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website.
Facebook routinely traffic in anti-vaccination propaganda and trade in false health information. Despite this, the company has not completely banned misinformation but continues to promote its Groups feature through its “More Together” campaign, some are concerned the issue will only worsen as the flu season goes on.
Source: Changing America