Australian mummy blogger criticised for 'anti-vaxx' views – Stuff.co.nz


Taylor Winterstein is a self-proclaimed "ex-vaxxer".

TAYLOR WINTERSTEIN/INSTAGRAM

Taylor Winterstein is a self-proclaimed “ex-vaxxer”.

An Australian mummy is promoting an anti-vaxx message, despite scientists debunking the myth of a possible link between vaccinations and autism in children.

Taylor Winterstein announced an Auckland speaking tour in February weeks before Canterbury was struck with a measles outbreak, with 25 confirmed cases on Monday.

Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey estimated 125,000 people are in need of at least one dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

Measles is one of the most infectious viruses on earth, and possibly the most contagious among people,” said Professor David Hayman of Massey University and the Infectious Disease Ecology and Director at the Infectious Disease Research Centre.

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Those who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting measles.

“The major risk factor for measles is being unvaccinated if people haven’t had the disease,” Hayman said.

“Another huge problem, however, is that a large proportion of people become infectious and spread the virus before they develop signs, so they present a risk to others without them or their caregivers knowing it.”

STUFF

Measles is a viral infection that is serious for small children but is easily preventable by a vaccine.

Despite the evidence showing more than 99 per cent of people who receive two MMR doses develop immunity to measles, Winterstein stands by her anti-vax views.

A major study by Danish researchers shows that the vaccine does not trigger or increase the risk of autism in children who are more susceptible to the developmental disorder, including those whose siblings have autism.

The nationwide study looked at all Danish children born between 1999 and 2010; more than half a million in total. There was also no clustering of autism cases following vaccination.

The self-proclaimed “ex-vaxxer” is married to NRL player Frank Winterstein and has two young children.

“I confidently and proudly say, that I have a fully unvaccinated child,” her website states.

Canterbury has been struck with a measles outbreak, with 25 confirmed cases on Monday.

ERIC RISBERG/AP

Canterbury has been struck with a measles outbreak, with 25 confirmed cases on Monday.

One of Winterstein’s interests include: “Reading new scientific literature that exposes the truth about vaccine safety and efficacy.”

“The benefits of vaccines are constantly over exaggerated,” she wrote in a recent blog post.

If a child has any reaction to vaccinations “it is your child’s body screaming out that it is not coping with multiple vaccines being injected”, she posted on Instagram.

She said parents should “re-think” vaccinating their children because there are “serious side effects” that could lead to “long term damage”.

Winterstein also markets herself as a health coach and runs online coaching sessions costing A$199 (NZ$205) for one hour.



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