UPDATE (5 October): The BBC has reported that Rebecca Bredow has been sentenced to 7 days in jail. Her husband has been awarded temporary custody so their child can get vaccinated.
The full story
A mum from Michigan, USA, is facing prison for ignoring a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son, saying the matter is about her ‘personal choice’.
Rebecca Bredow is also at odds with her ex-husband who wants their child vaccinated.
Ms Bredow says she and her ex-husband agreed they would spread out their little boy’s vaccines.
So when the vaccines were grouped together – meaning they were all to be given in one go, with no option to have them done separately – Rebecca decided she didn’t want to go ahead with them, though her ex-husband did.
Unlike some American states, Michigan does allow parents to refuse vaccines for personal and religious reasons.
It seems in this particular case, the court order has been issued because the parents are at odds and the judge has favoured the dad’s request to have their boy vaccinated.
If Rebecca doesn’t comply by next Wednesday, she faces jail.
“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” Ms Bredow told TV network WXYZ Studios.
“God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines. Then what? That scares me.
“I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines.”
What’s the situation with vaccines in the UK?
Let’s be clear: you won’t go to jail for not vaccinating your kids here, but the NHS strongly recommends your child gets all the vaccinations available.
“It may be tempting to say ‘no’ to vaccination and ‘leave it to nature’. However, deciding not to vaccinate your child puts them at risk of catching a range of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases,” says the NHS website.
“In reality, having a vaccination is much safer than not having one. They’re not 100% effective in every child, but they’re the best defence against the epidemics that used to kill or permanently disable millions of children and adults.”
Pic: WYXZ Studios