COMMENT BY BIANCA CLARE, SUNSHINE COAST DAILY NEWS DIRECTOR
MY heart breaks for little baby Riley's mother and father, who will never get to share those special moments we rejoice in life.
No cuddles, no first steps, no birthday sing-songs.
The four-week-old Perth baby lost his battle with pertussis, or whooping cough, last month.
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He was too tiny to have started the infant vaccination program that might have protected him.
In July, my husband and I will welcome our first baby.
In the past six months, we have done all we can to protect our baby from harm.
But when this little one enters the world, it will no longer be within our power to provide absolute protection. It scares me that Riley's story could become ours.
What if an innocent trip to the supermarket exposes our baby to a deadly but preventable disease?
National data on immunisation rates shows there are 660 children in our region with "registered conscientious objection" next to their name.
I understand a tiny fraction have a valid medical reason.
But the rest of you?
Why should my world be potentially ripped apart because you choose not to vaccinate or at the very least stay home while you were infectious?
To me, knowingly infecting the most vulnerable in our population with a deadly disease is reckless endangerment.
You can be charged with knowingly infecting someone with HIV, so what is the difference with preventable childhood diseases?
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