Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has added a new addition to the series of photographs of his daughter; the latest posting features him and Max at a visit to the doctor on his social media platform.
“Doctor’s visit — time for vaccines!” said Zuckerberg in his Facebook post on Friday, January 8.
In the photo, Zuckerberg is seen with Max on his lap and she is wearing a cute and colorful, hooded onesie.
While not explicitly advocating the practice, Zuckerberg’s message seems to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated. According to a report in Time, the anti-vaccination sentiment has led to an increase in the number of cases of measles, whooping cough and other preventable diseases in Northern California, where Zuckerberg lives. In June, the state passed a law requiring all children to get vaccinated before starting school.
The post has received a warm welcome in general and has been liked by millions around the globe. Stuart Duncan commented on Zuckerberg’s post.
“As someone with autism, with a son with autism, as someone who is constantly watching good people put their own children at serious risk because of old, fraudulent fears of vaccines and autism… thank you for being sensible. Thank you for doing what’s right and also for showing everyone else that it’s the right thing to do as well,”
Zuckerberg was also applauded by a practicing pediatrician who made the following comment.
“As a practicing pediatrician, thank you for your public support of the safety & efficacy of vaccines. As a parent, I’ll warn you for the possibility of a grumpy baby for a day or two!”
Carolanne Ulrich Norris also wrote the following.
“Thank you for posting this! As a mom to a child that was vaccine delayed due to health reasons, I am so appreciative to those parents that do vaccinate. For five years, I had to rely on other parents doing their part to keep my son healthy. Vaccines save lives and not necessarily just your child’s,”
There were others who expressed their skepticism. One person posed the following question.
“Do you honestly think that a beautiful healthy newborn baby needs injections of neurological-toxins to become safe for the public?”
Another Facebook user made their position clear.
“Vaccine is poison for human kind. It kills more people than it helps. I wish people don’t take it as an example here.”
Some in the anti-vaccination camp were scornful in their responses, as seen by one woman’s response to the photograph.
“Injecting newborns and infants with disease and neurotoxins is disgusting science that injures millions every year. Autism, encephalitis, brain damage, auto immune disorders early onset & late, asthma, allergies, add/ADHD, bipolar disorder, SPD, pandas, Tourette’s… All of these neuro disease in the past 35 years. Do your homework. The only thing these children have in common is the VACCINE SCHEDULE!”
Colleen Kenny echoed the above statements in her comment.
“Vaccines are largely ineffective and even if they don’t result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder, as they did for 9 year old Hannah Poling: they are extremely unhealthy,”
The anti-vaxx movement has been linking childhood immunizations with autism, influencing a number of families to opt out of vaccines for their newborns. A national debate in the United States on the pros and cons of having children vaccinated late occurred in late 2014, after a measles outbreak was reported in Disneyland.
Zuckeberg has been a staunch supporter of vaccinations even prior to the birth of Max. For his 2015 book club, he chose “On Immunity” by Eula Bissas as one of the books.
Zuckerberg explained the book club selection in a related Facebook post.
“[T]his book explores the reasons why some people question vaccines, and then logically explains why the doubts are unfounded and vaccines are in fact effective and safe.”
Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, welcomed their first born in November. He is currently on a two-month paternity leave.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]