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Parents seek ‘unvaccinated’ blood, delay baby’s critical operation

NEW YORK: A New Zealand couple is refusing to allow their infant son to undergo lifesaving heart surgery using blood from people vaccinated against Covid, showing how vaccine misinformation continues to manifest in unexpected ways two years into global inoculation campaigns.
The 4-month-old is critically ill with a severe case of pulmonary valve stenosis, a heart valve disorder. The boy’s mother says she wants her son’s operation to take place without delay, but she has demanded that “safe blood” be used, with her lawyer saying the family was concerned about blood containing traces of vaccines using new mRNA technology The New Zealand health service has denied the family’s request to use blood from unvaccinated volunteers andsaid that the vaccines pose no risk to donor supplies. On Tuesday, the high court in Auckland will decide whether to grant the health service, Te Whatu Ora, temporary guardianship of the baby so it can remove the child from the family and perform the surgery.
Paul White, the agency’s lawyer, described the baby as “getting sicker with every heartbeat”. The legal dispute has gripped public attention and exposed the depths of Covid vaccine scepticism in some communities in New Zealand.
The boy’s mother she was “desperately worried” about the baby’s well-being and did not want the surgery to be postponed. She blamed the health service for the holdups, saying it was ignoring the family’s concerns and unnecessarily asserting its authority in the courts. “We can’t understand why the Auckland Starship Children’s Hospital and NZ Blood won’t help to protect him against a risk we have identified,” the mother said, referring to the public medical facility and blood donor organisation involved in the case. Sue Grey, the family’s lawyer, said the mother’s fear centred on the“safety of blood from recipients of mRNA technology,” describing this risk as arising from “residual contamination from injected mRNA, or spike protein made by the mRNA. ”
The family has solicited blood from 30 unvaccinated “prescreened” donors, Grey said. Among those backing the familyis Winston Peters, who leads the centre-right New Zealand First party and held the position of deputy PM. “This is not about being proor antivax, or denying the science; this is about freedom, truth and informed consent,” he said on Friday. Experts have said that providing alternative blood supplies would be complicated by requirements for emergency screenings and quality checks. New Zealand’s official blood service doesn’t distinguish between “vaccinated” and“unvaccinated” blood in its supplies, saying that there is no evidence that spike protein residues, which are quickly absorbed in the system of donors, pose any threat to recipients.
The health service’s interim director in Auckland, Dr Mike Shepherd, said: “The decision to make an application to the court is always made with the best interests of the child. ” Mark Henaghan, a law professor at the University of Auckland, said he did not expect the standoff to produce a new legal precedent in favour of the family. In similar cases, he said, “courts have gone with what the medical advice is; that’s been the pattern around the world. ” “Parents have never had absolute rights” in such circumstances, he said. “It’s all about what’s best for the well-being of the child”.

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