‘If you don’t vaccinate your kids you’re an absolute fool’

Baby Elijah suffering from chickenpox image

Baby Elijah suffering from chickenpox. Photo: Facebook

The photos are heartbreaking and almost too difficult to look at, but Kayley Burke is begging other parents to take notice.

“Vaccinate your kids people. The pictures below show you exactly why,” the upset Queensland mother posted on Facebook alongside horrifying photos of 11-month-old son Elijah covered in sores from chickenpox.

“Our poor baby boy who is too young to be immunised has caught the chickenpox. It has almost been a week since they showed up. Today he was admitted to Ipswich Hospital with a secondary infection.”

Ms Burke and her three-year-old daughter Kaliah have also contracted chickenpox. But thankfully, as the little girl has been vaccinated, she only has a few spots and is otherwise well.

The mother described adult chickenpox as “horrible and painful”.

“I’d rather give birth with no pain relief,” she wrote.

Elijah before he fell ill.image

Elijah before he fell ill. Photo: Facebook

“Bottom line if you don’t vaccinate your kids you’re a bloody idiot. Think about the risk you are putting on other helpless kids that are too young or who actually can’t be vaccinated!”

The plight of baby Elijah has touched hearts everywhere. More than 36,000 people have shared the photos since they were posted on Thursday. Others have sent the family messages of support.

“Oh my gosh, poor bub! Can’t stand hearing about stupid selfish people not vaccinating their children,” one commenter wrote

“If even one more person vaccinates because of this post it’d be a win. But you and you family shouldn’t have to go through this. Man it makes me angry,” said another.

Ms Burke told The Sunshine Coast Daily her son had been crying and trying to itch the sores that now cover his entire head. When the baby boy refused to drink his bottle, she realised the sores must have spread inside his mouth and throat.

“It’s horrible I can’t think of anything worse (than watching him go through this),” she said.

“I’m very annoyed that he’s sick. I’m a strong believer in vaccinations and I’m sure if he was old enough to have the shot he wouldn’t be so sick.”

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and it is a highly infectious disease. It causes an itchy red rash with blisters and while most people recover, it can cause serious complications.

Immunisation against chickenpox is included in the combination measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine for children at 18 months.

Children who are vaccinated against chicken pox may still get the virus, however their symptoms will be mild and it is unlikely any complications will result.


Henry Sapiecha


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