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Whooping cough: ‘Anti-vaxxers’ target Brisbane woman following viral Facebook plea for parents to vaccinate

November 18, 2015
Latest News

whoopingco_m2070520A Brisbane woman has hit back at so-called anti-vaxxers who targeted her with private messages after a Facebook post she made sharing her son’s battle with whooping cough went viral.

Rebecca Harreman’s Facebook status included a short video of her comforting her four-month-old son, who rubbed his red eyes before bursting into a small coughing fit.

It has been viewed more than 475,000 times and shared more than 13,500 since it was uploaded on Friday.

The 400-word status documented her son’s 20-plus day battle with whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

Since then, she has received messages of love and support from friends, family and strangers alike – however it has also attracted the attention of those against vaccination.

“I really didn’t think that people would personally message me to tell me I am wrong,” she wrote in a follow-up post.

“I didn’t intend to offend anyone in particular with my views. Because they are just that – MY views.

“But since some anti-vaxxers seem to feel they can share and say anything they want, even if it is unreliable, and I’m not allowed to have my say or share my own personal experience … well then I say bring it!

“No more turning a blind eye and not sharing opinions for fear it will upset someone else.

“It’s called freedom of speech. If they can say what they want, then so can I.”

In her original post, Ms Harreman said the video of her son featured a “good coughing fit” – because it was “nothing compared to watching him turn blue from coughing for so long and so much he can’t take a single breath”.

“I’ve been on duty for over three weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing,” she wrote.

“So for those of you sitting on the fence on whether to vaccinate yourself and your kids or not … maybe this video will convince you.”

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Published by: ABC News 17th November 2015