Catherine Hughes is the director of The Immunisation Foundation Australia and founder of Light for Riley, an awareness campaign launched in memory of her newborn son who died of whooping cough in 2015. He was just 32 days old.
After widespread condemnation from health experts and advocates around the country, Senator Pauline Hanson has today apologised for her remarks on vaccination.
While it takes courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake, I wonder about the damage that her statements may have already caused.
Vaccine-hesitant parents are sensitive to the concerns spread about vaccination by people in respected positions.
Is her apology a case of too little, too late?
A quick refresher of Senator Hanson’s stance on vaccination: Within the last year or so, she has highlighted her concerns that vaccines might be linked with autism (a theory that has been thoroughly studied, and found to be entirely untrue).
She has said she would “think twice” about vaccinating her own children, and has encouraged parents to do their “own research” on the issue.
She labelled the ‘No Jab No Policy’ as blackmail, and likened the situation to a “dictatorship”.
I can tell you this without any seed of doubt: Senator Hanson has been targeted. She has been bombarded with emails and letters, social media comments and phone calls from anti-vaccine lobby groups.