Update 5:20 pm – The nurse has been terminated by Texas Children’s Hospital. Great work to the Vaccine Hate Facebook group!
Last night a Facebook group I am a member in was all a buzz. Vaccine Hate, a Facebook group that works to stop the spread of false anti-vaccination propaganda, stopped a pediatric a nurse from starting a measles outbreak. Initially, I couldn’t believe a nurse would make such crazy statements. However, the group had screenshots to back up their claims. The nurse in question works for Texas Children’s Hosptial in Houston. Due to the hard work of a diligent group of vaccine advocates, the nurse is currently under investigation by the hospital.
Vaccinate Hate is a Facebook group that works to dimish the damage anti-vaccination propaganda does to public health. The group run by admins work to weed out nurses and health care officials that are anti-vaccine. Several of the admins received notifications that a nurse in Texas was sharing private information about a child with measles.
A nurse from Children’s Hospital in Houston posted in “Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children – Texas,” which has now been taken down. Jay Summer admin of Vaccine Hate provided me with screenshots of the nurse’s statement to the group:
News of the nurse’s comments began making rounds in vaccine groups around Facebook. Admins of Vaccine-Hate worked together to report the nurse to Texas Children’s Hospital. Additionally, they rallied their vaccine advocates to contact the hospital. Jay Summers provided me with the following screenshot after he reported the nurse:
The work of the admins from Vaccine Hate wasn’t done with reporting the nurse to the hospital alone. They also shared the story with the local media in Texas. Jay let me know he is continuing to work with the news outlet as he learns more information about the nurse.
Administrators of Vaccine Hate also work closely in a secret Facebook group dedicated to exposing nurses and health care workers that are anti-vaccine. Last night admins of the group said the most disturbing component of this story was the nurse’s threat to expose her child to measles.
If she had swabbed the child and exposed her son, she could have started an outbreak in her community. Administrators took this threat seriously knowing that measles is a deadly disease.
According to the World Health Organization, 89,780 people died from Measles in 2016. The majority of the deaths were children under the age of five.
The World Health Organization says, “Accelerated immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. During 2000–2016, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 20.4 million deaths. Global measles deaths have decreased by 84% from an estimated 550 100 in 2000* to 89 780 in 2016.”
Following media exposure about the nurse, Texas Children’s Hospital released the following statement:
“A patient treated at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus tested positive for measles. This is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable infection. We know vaccination is the best protection against measles,” the hospital told Houston ABC station KTRK Monday. “Our Infection Control and Prevention team immediately identified other children who may have come in contact with this patient to assess their risk and provide clinical recommendations. We have contacted all of those families.”
When I asked Jay Summers about what vaccine hate hopes to accomplish, he told me this, “We’ve reported over 25 anti-vaccine nurses this year alone, the group vaccine hate exists to expose anti-vaccine frauds and charlatans. We want to expose their false narrative and tactics, and to expose the false arguments used by the anti-vaccine community. We want to temper those arguments with the facts. The data is used to understand the reasons behind the movement and to find better ways of science communication.”
Kudos to Jay Summers and the entire administrative crew at Vaccine Hate for stopping a public health outbreak of measles. The work of grassroots movements like Vaccine Hate helps all of us by preventing the fake news and propaganda from the anti-vaccine movement. Now Texas children are safe thanks to their hard work.
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