Another Blood Type

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A New Zealand court took temporary custody of a six-month-old baby whose parents refused permission for blood transfusions because donors may be vaccinated against Covid-19, Agence France-Presse reported.

The case concerns “Baby W,” who needs life-saving heart surgery for a heart disorder known as pulmonary valve stenosis.

But the parents blocked the procedure on the grounds that any blood transfused could come from donors that received the mRNA vaccine against the coronavirus.

Health officials had turned down the parents’ request for unvaccinated blood, saying that it was both impractical and unnecessary.

The court ruled that the baby be placed under partial guardianship until the “completion of his surgery” and recovery, by the end of January at the latest. It added that the parents will remain custodians “for all other purposes,” and will be “informed at all reasonable times of the nature and progress of Baby W’s condition and treatment.”

The case has highlighted the issue of vaccine misinformation in the country, say analysts, while prompting criticism from anti-vaccination groups. Anti-vaccine campaigner Liz Gunn told supporters to pressure Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to reverse the ruling.

Health New Zealand spokesperson Mike Shepherd said it was “a difficult situation for all involved.”

The blood service in New Zealand does not distinguish between donations from those who have had a Covid vaccine or not because there is no additional danger associated with using vaccinated blood.

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