June 15, 2018 12:32 pm

Kat Von D faces criticism over plans not to vaccinate her baby

Tattoo artist and television personality Kat Von D attends an influencer launch of the new Kat Von D Beauty range at 15 Bateman Street on October 7, 2016 in London, England.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images for Kat Von D Beauty
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Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D is facing backlash after she revealed her plans to not vaccinate her baby.

The television personality announced her plans in an Instagram post on Saturday. She also claimed she would be raising her child as a vegan.

“I knew the minute we announced our pregnancy that we would be bombarded with unsolicited advice,” Von D started the post.

(Instagram/TheKatVonD)

READ MORE: Canadian children should get vaccinated for hepatitis B at birth, experts say

She continued: “I also was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy.”

The 36-year-old Kat Von D Beauty founder also said she plans on having “a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula” and that she “has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.”

“This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey,” she wrote alongside the baby bump photo.

WATCH BELOW: The latest on vaccines

READ MORE: These are the Canadians less likely to vaccinate — and why they’re hesitant

Many fans became infuriated by Von D’s decision and announced a boycott of her cosmetics line.

Beauty blogger Caroline Hirons shared an image of her then 23-year-old son when he was bed-ridden in the hospital after contracting mumps, a contagious disease that is easily preventable with vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She tagged Von D in her caption, saying: “When I see people like @thekatvond using their platform to promote raising her unborn child ‘without vaccinations,’ I want her and the droves of ill-advised people underneath … to see and know that this is the reality of ‘benign disease.'”

View this post on Instagram

*swipe across- When our son was rushed to the emergency room last summer in a convoy of two ambulances and four paramedics (they sent for the main team because Dan was so dehydrated that the initial paramedic couldn’t find a vein), he had a raging fever and was hallucinating. He couldn’t see us when we were leaning over him. He felt his body shutting down. The team worked on him for over 15 minutes in the ambulance before they were cleared to ‘move off’. When we arrived at the hospital they immediately quarantined us and put him in critical care. Four IV drips. For 48 hours. He spent a week quarantined in the critical care unit – in the dark, because the crushing migraine he had for three weeks would not leave, even with morphine. His fever took a week to come down within normal range, even with the best of modern medicine available. At the time he was a 23 year old man, fitter than most, who played football for approx 4 hours a day. Mumps felled him. He lost over two stone in weight. Without intensive medical intervention he would not be here. Now imagine he was a baby. Or someone with a compromised immune system. When I see people like @thekatvond using their platform to promote raising her unborn child ‘without vaccinations’, I want her and the drones of ill-advised people underneath, including @kandeejohnson to see and know that this is the reality of ‘benign diseases’. You have the absolute unbelievable arrogance of a ‘choice’, because the rest of us responsible people/parents DID vaccinate. These diseases were almost gone, now they are back because some people think they know better than all the scientists, physicians and specialists in modern science. As I said in my post last year, vaccinate your kids. Or keep them the hell away from mine. (I took endless pictures of Dan in hospital to keep Jim up to speed as he had stayed home with our younger, traumatised kids. Dan gave his full permission for me use the picture and tell the story in detail. He’s our hero. And no, I am obviously not talking about you if you are unable to have the vaccines. You are who the rest of us should be trying to protect.) #savethenhs

A post shared by CAROLINE HIRONS (@carolinehirons) on

READ MORE: Bowmanville student may be suspended for getting vaccinations two days too early

Following the backlash, Von D took to Instagram again to explain her decision.

“My husband @prayers and I are NOT anti-vaxxers. We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything,” she wrote.

She continued: “While we believe medications, including vaccines, are not all bad — we also can’t dismiss the fact that some may not be good for everyone. There are plenty of studies that show some vaccinations can work wonders. And there are also studies that show some people [including mothers, and babies] may be more susceptible to vaccine injuries more than others.”

“When it comes to vaccinating our child, is also no one’s business — regardless of what I post on Instagram,” Von D wrote.

View this post on Instagram

My husband @prayers and I are NOT anti-vaxxers. We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything. As a soon-to-be-parent [and especially as a first-time-mom] I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things, and do my research. What we have found is that sometimes it isn’t always so black and white. While we believe medications, including vaccines, are not all bad – we also can’t dismiss the fact that some may not be good for everyone. There are plenty of studies that show some vaccinations can work wonders. And there are also studies that show some people [including mothers, and babies] may be more susceptible to vaccine injuries more than others. It’s unfair for anyone to expect me [or any parent] to take the word of the pharmaceutical companies who have much to gain from and industry worth billions without question – and then have to dismiss any concerns of my own. Our personal medical records are no one’s business, and why we would feel it important for us to explore all our options when it comes to vaccinating our child, is also no one’s business – regardless of what I post on Instagram. So, perhaps before any of you feel inspired to harass us, spew hatred, or send ill-will our way, I hope you would try and understand that this is our first child together, and we are simply just trying our best. Lastly, I don’t plan on continuing this topic, and have no interest in fighting anyone. As much as I hate doing this, I will be turning off the comments on this post – and I think you would too, if you were constantly receiving death wishes onto your unborn child. I am sending extra love to everyone today. X

A post shared by 𝐊𝐀𝐓 𝐕𝐎𝐍 𝐃 (@thekatvond) on

She also added that she has been receiving death wishes onto her “unborn child.” She turned the comments off on her most recent post because she doesn’t “plan on continuing this topic” and is not interested “in fighting anyone.”

READ MORE: Why this mom is blaming anti-vaxxers for her daughter’s hospitalization

When parents choose not to immunize their children, Dr. Joan Robinson, chair of the Canadian Pediatrics Society’s Infectious Diseases and Immunization committee, says they are putting other kids — especially children with compromised immune systems — at risk.

When they contract an infectious disease like chicken pox or measles, for example, their reaction will be far more severe than if a healthy child were to contract the same infectious disease, Robinson explains.

“These children tend to have a way more severe [experience] with the disease,” Robinson says. “With chicken pox, fortunately there is an anti-viral [medication] so the moment that child breaks out in chicken pox, they’ll be admitted to the hospital and given an IV of the medication and generally they will do fine. However, they can end up with severe consequences if the diagnosis is not recognized early on.”

But when it comes to measles, Robinson says that’s where things can get dangerous.

“We still have no treatment for measles,” she says. “So there’s actually far more concern that a child can die from measles.”

Besides staying away from infected individuals, children with compromised immune systems actually have no preventative way of protecting themselves from contracting infectious diseases. While healthy children can be vaccinated, immunosuppressed children are unable to receive any vaccination that contains a live virus, Robinson explains.

“Now the virus has been what we call attenuated, which means it’s been changed into a much weaker form of the virus,” Robinsons says. “So anyone with a normal immune system, if they’re given that vaccine, there’s no way they would ever get — for example — full-blown measles or chicken pox. They might get a bit of a rash but they will not get very sick and probably not even be contagious. But someone who is immunosuppressed, if you gave them the vaccine, the concern is they might get full-blown measles or chicken pox from the vaccine and can even die from it.”

So bottom line, says Robinson, is that when parents vaccinate their kids, they’re not only protecting their own child, but others as well, especially those who are vulnerable and unable to protect themselves.

—With files from Dani-Elle Dube

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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