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Outspoken anti-vaxxer Titans player Bryce Cartwright has refused to follow the NRL’s call for all players to vaccinate ahead of the competition’s return on May 28.
The 25-year-old has been one of the NRL’s most prominent critics of vaccines, with his wife Shanelle revealing last year the couple would not vaccinate their children Koa, two, and Naia, one.
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The NRL made compulsory flu shots part of the Biosecurity player protocols that have been brought in to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
However despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the use of vaccinations, Cartwright refused to take the flu-shot, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The NRL’s biosecurity experts believe those with the flu are more likely to suffer severely from the coronavirus.
NRL officials will entrust the league’s chief medical officer Dr Paul Bloomfield to authorise exceptions to the vaccinations on a ‘case-by-case basis’.
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Mrs Cartwright revealed last year that her husband took some convincing as she tried to explain the ‘harms of vaccination’ as she sees them, but he eventually came around.
“I remember he (Bryce) was so defensive when I first brought it up and got angry at me for even suggesting that we shouldn’t vaccinate,” Mrs Cartwright said.
However in June of last season, the Titans confirmed Cartwright would miss a clash with the Broncos after he came down with the flu.
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The former Panthers star was mocked at the time online, with one fan saying “if only there were a vaccine’ to avoid catching the deadly illness.”
“How good does the flu shot look now,” another wrote.
Others were more concerned about the safety of the couple’s children, who are now exposed to the illness.
Bryce Cartwright missed a game against the Broncos last season with the flu.Source:Getty Images
“Imagine knowing you didn’t take a simple preventive measure for your kid and then you infect your kid with your virus as well,” one person said.
“I truly hope he stays away from his kids.”
The Cartwrights received backlash after they came out as anti-vaxxers.
Australian Health authorities have warned of the dangers to society of not vaccinating children.
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“Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect you and your children from harmful, contagious diseases,” the Australian government’s health department says.
“It also safeguards the health of other people, now and for future generations.
‘Before vaccination campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough killed thousands of children. Today, it is extremely rare to die from these diseases in Australia.”
Originally published asHow Titans star who will refuse a flu shot was transformed into an anti-vaxxer
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