Woman who developed life changing condition due to vaccine side effect is still pro vaccinations

New research has revealed that almost half of parents have been exposed to misinformation about vaccinations online [Photo: Getty]

The decision about whether or not to vaccinate your children is often a contentious one for parents.

And, according to new research, the decision can often be muddied by being exposed to misinformation about vaccinations via social media.

The report, published by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), found that half of all parents with small children have been exposed to negative messages about jabs.

What’s more, the most common reason for parents not to vaccinate is the fear of side effects.

But one woman has opened up about her own experiences of vaccination side effects in order to urge parents to still consider getting their children immunised.

When she was 14-years-old, Tiffany Yonts received the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine as part of a routine check-up.

Unfortunately, though extremely rare, she developed an untreatable autoimmune disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) as a side effect of the vaccine.

According to the NHS Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a very rare and serious condition that affects the nerves.

It mainly affects the feet, hands and limbs, causing problems such as numbness, weakness and pain and in extreme cases can impact a person’s ability to breathe.

In rare cases it can also lead to paralysis.

Though for many sufferers, the condition can be treated with most eventually making a full recovery, in rare cases, like Tiffany’s, it can be life-threatening leaving some with long-term problems.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system, the body’s natural defence against illness and infection.

“Normally the immune system attacks any germs that get into the body. But in people with Guillain-Barré syndrome, something goes wrong and it mistakenly attacks and damages the nerves,” the site reads.

Though it isn’t exactly clear why this happens the NHS states that one of the potential triggers could be a vaccination, although it also points out that this is very rare and the benefits of vaccinating far outweigh any risk.

Far more common is that the condition can be brought on by an infection.

Tiffany first shared her experiences via a candid Twitter thread to send a message to those who are against vaccinations, but in light of the new report, her story is being shared online once again.

New research has revealed that almost half of parents have been exposed to misinformation about vaccinations online [Photo: Getty]

Since her diagnosis Tiffany has spent years researching about and the science behind its potential causes, but she remains in favour of immunisations.

“After I learned what my diagnosis actually was, I spent a long time researching it and learning a lot about health and medicine,” she told Bored Panda.

“I even studied East Asian medicine (with a heavy dose of biomed) for a while and, even though I was already pro-vaccine by that point, it helped me to really understand the physical processes and science behind vaccines and why they’re so necessary for public health.”

The re-emergence of Tiffany’s story has lead others to share their own experiences of vaccination side effects, though many, like Tiffany, also still remain in the pro-vaccine camp.

As the interest in her story has grown, Tiffany also returned to Twitter to answer a few more questions about her experiences.

The release of the new report isn’t the first time the topic of vaccinations has hit headlines recently. In November a Facebook advert warning parents that vaccines could “kill your child” was banned.

Last year experts issued a recommendation that all babies should receive the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth. 

Speaking at the Global Hepatitis Summit in Toronto, professor Harry Janssen, director of the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, said vaccination at birth was the best way to protect children from Hepatitis B.

His advice echoes recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that all babies should receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours.

Meanwhile over in Australia, the Government has clamped down on its ‘no jab, no pay’ policy by issuing further fines for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

And back in 2017 a vegan mother was ordered to give her sons routine vaccinations after the High Court overruled her objections.

The mum-of-two, who cannot be named, is so opposed to giving her children everyday medicines that she refuses to even give her children Calpol when they are poorly.

Having objected to giving her sons’ routine vaccinations, the mum was told by a High Court judge that she must comply with an order from the Court of Protection to have them vaccinated.

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