The parents of a 4-month-old in need of a life-saving heart surgery are refusing to go ahead with the procedure unless the blood used is from donors who were not vaccinated against COVID-19.
The New Zealand couple spoke out in an interview published online Monday about their reservations over the open-heart surgery, which their child desperately needs to treat severe pulmonary valve stenosis.
Child Needs to Undergo Open-Heart Surgery
"We don't want blood that is tainted by vaccination," the father said in an interview with anti-vaccine campaigner Liz Gunn. "That's the end of the deal â we are fine with anything else these doctors want to do."
The couple said their baby urgently needs open-heart surgery and that they want the blood to come from people who have not received the Covid vaccine.
The four-month-old baby has severe pulmonary valve stenonis, the parents said. Surgery is needed "almost immediately", said the parents, but added that they are "extremely concerned with the blood [the doctors] are going to use".
Parents Taken to Court Over Decision to Keep Child from Receiving Surgery
As a result, New Zealand's health agency has taken the parents to court, hoping the guardianship of the sick child will be transferred to the courts so that the baby can receive the needed surgery, according to the NZ Herald.
Paul White, an attorney for the country's health agency Te Whatu Ora, said Wednesday that the case should be resolved quickly because a child with the same condition would have otherwise been treated weeks earlier.
The lawyer for the parents, Sue Grey, said the case was different from other medical guardianship instances where parents refuse medical care. According to Grey, the situation is unique because these parents are looking for better care for their child than what the state is offering.
"Because they label my clients as conspiracy theorists, [their position] is that anything my clients say can be ignored," Grey said.
About 100 anti-vaccine protesters gathered outside the court during Wednesday's meeting, according to local media. Another hearing has been scheduled for next Tuesday.
NZ Blood Service: Blood not Divided According to Donor's Vaccine Status
The New Zealand Blood Service said blood was not divided by whether donors were vaccinated. It also stated there was no evidence there was any risk in using blood from a vaccinated person.
The New Zealand Blood Service website also states that "any mRNA from the vaccine that is in the blood is broken down within a few hours after vaccination".
"All donated blood also gets filtered during processing, so any trace amounts that may still be present poses no risk to recipients," the agency said.