Mom Shares Heartbreaking Video To Show Why Herd Immunity Is So Important

by Jerriann Sullivan
Originally Published: 
whooping cough video
Image via Facebook.

Mom warns parents of the silent symptoms of whooping cough

A mom posted a terrifying whooping cough video that shows her infant struggling to stay alive. It’s beyond hard to watch and a crucial reminder of the importance of herd immunity.

Australian mom Sandra Tanrikulu has two kids. Her newest baby is just weeks old and already in the hospital after catching whopping cough. Not wanting another parent to go through this particular hell, she posted the video on Facebook to raise awareness about how important vaccines are for the general population who can tolerate them. Vaccines are not a personal choice, they are a matter of public safety.

“This video may distress some people but I’m sharing to show just how scary and dangerous whooping cough is to babies who are too young to be vaccinated. This is my 5 week old baby during an episode where she chokes and stops breathing,” Tanrikulu explained. “Whooping cough is not always a loud obvious cough. The scary symptom for babies is when they don’t cough but silently choke and turn blue/purple from lack of oxygen. If we weren’t in hospital and sitting watching our baby 24/7 the outcome would be fatal.”

The video is going viral, and Tanrikulu responded to viewers in the comment section. “The head pediatrician wanted us to film it to show people how the cough isn’t always the worst/major symptom in babies. It’s the silent episodes which mean we are watching her 24/7 and very tired,” she wrote. “Lucky my husband is amazing and we have been taking shifts.”

These parents are literally up all day and night watching their baby like a hawk to make sure she’s safe. We know that anti-vaxxers make everyone sick. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this year analyzed data from 10,000 pertussis (whooping cough) cases. “If there are a high number of susceptible or unvaccinated individuals in the community the risk of getting infected – even for vaccinated children – goes up,” explained senior study author Dr. Saad Omer, a pediatrics and epidemiology researcher at Emory University in Atlanta.

“Babies rely on herd immunity to keep them safe and unfortunately we cannot achieve that without high vaccination rates,” Tanrikulu said. This mother’s plea, a national study, and the video of this precious baby struggling to breathe are all a reminder that vaccinations aren’t a personal choice. Babies who are too young to get their vaccines and people who are immunocompromised have no choice in the matter; they rely on the rest of us to stay healthy. For all of us to stay healthy all of us who can medically tolerate vaccines need to get them.

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