Family block "urgent operation" for infant as authorities won't guarantee blood without COVID-19 vaccine


Wellington, New Zealand — New Zealand authorities on Tuesday launched a battle for custody of an infant whose parents are blocking life-saving surgery because blood donors may have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The New Zealand health authority took the bid for emergency custody to the High Court in Auckland in a case that has sparked local protest and underscored the potency of vaccine misinformation.

The four-month-old, whose name has been suppressed by court order, needs an “urgent operation” to correct a heart disorder known as pulmonary valve stenosis, the child’s mother has said.

The surgical procedure has been delayed because the baby’s parents do not want any blood transfused that could have come from a donor vaccinated using mRNA vaccines.


Twitter ends its COVID-19 misinformation policy

04:16

Health authorities rejected the parents’ request for unvaccinated blood. New Zealand’s blood service does not make a distinction between donations from those vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID, as there is no extra risk from using vaccinated blood.

The authorities want to take partial custody of the child, leaving the parents in charge of non-medical care, but allowing the procedure to go ahead.

Health New Zealand has said it applied to the court “with the best interests of the child in mind” following “extensive conversations” with the family.

“We know that it can be worrying when parents have a child who is unwell, and are making decisions about their care,” doctor Mike Shepherd from Health New Zealand said in a statement.

Around 150 anti-vaccination protesters were outside the court in Auckland on Tuesday to voice support for the family.

New Zealand’s strict response against COVID was widely regarded as one of the most successful in the world, with the country enjoying a low mortality rate even before a vaccine program started.

NZEALAND-HEALTH-VIRUS-PROTEST
People face off with police near the parliament as police move in to clear protesters in Wellington on March 2, 2022, during demonstrations against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.

DAVE LINTOTT/AFP/Getty


But tough travel constraints, lockdowns and other restrictions caused concern about the erosion of civil liberties and sparked the emergence of small-but-vocal anti-vaccine and anti-restriction groups.

You May Also Like

More than 400 food items in nine states recalled over potential listeria contamination

More than 400 pre-made food sold in grocery stores across America are…

Covid: Side effects explained amid last chance for under-50s to get coronavirus booster

Inflammation of the heart muscle is known as myocarditis, while inflammation of…

How cancer can make you speak in an IRISH accent: American man who had never visited the isle

A cancer-stricken man woke up to find he suddenly had an Irish…

Efforts to stay sober during Dry January frequently hit the rocks because of social aspects

Revealed: Efforts to stay sober during Dry January frequently hit the rocks…

Subway's Latest Move Toward Fresher Ingredients Is Leaving Customers Skeptical

It’s better late than never for Subway, as the behemoth sandwich chain…

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls, 48, answers our health quiz

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls, 48, answers our…

Costco Has Stopped Selling a Popular Butter at Several Locations

Irish butter is highly prized for its rich flavor and super creamy…

Here's What Patrick Mahomes & Jalen Hurts Eat To Stay Super Bowl Ready

Super Bowl LVII is just around the corner, with the battle lines…

One death, several go blind after using EYEDROPS ‘contaminated with superbug’

CDC issues urgent warning over contaminated eyedrops feared to have killed one…

The health pros and cons of sharing a bed with your dog

They are known as man’s best friend. But do dogs really make…

Reduce blood pressure by adding butter beans to your diet – high in potassium

The analysis considered 22 existing trials, which involved more than 1,600 participants.…

8 Burger Chains That Don't Actually Grill Their Burgers

When you close your eyes and picture a burger, meaning just the…