Australian doctor Rachel Heap's pro-vaccination sign sparks social media debate
Dr. Rachel Heap knows the right words to catch the attention of someone and without any doubt, she did just that.
Two years ago, an Australian doctor, Rachel Heap penned down her thoughts on why it is important for people to get vaccinated. She shared her thoughts on the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters website, a group which she helped establish. As reported by News.com, Rachel is currently working as an intensive care specialist from NSW, and since the beginning, she has been a pro-vaccination campaigner and has been helping break the myths or misinformation that are spread by others. Her words happened to be so impactful that they were framed and posted in a Colorado doctor’s office. This is where Sunni Mariah saw and instantly clicked a picture to upload it on her Facebook.
"New sign at my Dr’s office is throwing some serious shade vaccinateyourkids," she captioned the picture. Since then, the post has gained a lot of attention as the post has been liked by 25k people and shared by 199k. However, the sign has caused a lot of debate among people. While some of them believe the picture should be there on every doctor's office, there are others who disagreed with it.
Nurse Linda Rau echoed the thoughts of Rachel as she commented, "just listen to one baby with whooping cough, and you’ll never forget it.” Meanwhile, Nancy Kusisto Hansen wrote, “I really think this sign should be in all doctor’s offices.” But Artemis Meyers seemed to disagree with most of the people in the comment section.
"Here is my 2 cent (sic). If your children are vaccinated then what danger does my kid bring to yours? My child is my responsibility, not yours, not the doctors, and not the government,” read the comment, to this, someone responded, "it’s the babies too young to vaccinate who are really at risk with your thought process.” Despite these debates, Rachel knows what she is fighting for and will never stop educating others about the importance of vaccination.
"The ghosts of the people that I’ve looked after keep driving me," she said in an interview with Mamamia. Those "ghosts" that Rachel talks about are her patients who have been affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. In the six months that Rachel looked after babies with whooping cough have not left her with good memories. One baby spent six months in intensive care and it is believed that the baby may have been left with permanent brain damage.
"The other one didn’t make it,” she told the website. On the website also she has hinted that she is passionate about this cause. “There is a prayer out there that says ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference’ and there is also an expression in safety management that says ‘something is only as safe as the issue you are prepared to walk past," she wrote.
"After my time working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, I decided that the fight to increase vaccination rates was something I would not walk past without at least trying to help," she further added. “My approach has been to try and help my community, and those further afield, understand why vaccine-preventable diseases are bad, and that, vaccines are the safest and most effective way to protect everyone from them.”