After Tragedy, Football Star Calls on Parents to Vaccinate Children

Total Croatia News

A former Croatian international has recently lost his daughter.

Six months have elapsed since former Croatian national football team player Joe Šimunić and his wife Christina lost their three-year-old daughter Luciana, who died on Easter after the flu had affected her central nervous system, reports Večernji List on October 15, 2018.

The parents have decided to try to help so that other parents would not experience a similar tragedy and have called on sceptics to vaccinate their children. “If we knew what we know today, the vaccination against the flu would be in our ‘vaccination calendar’”, Šimunić says.

They said that the daughter was playing the whole day, and in the evening she got a fever. They tried to lower it themselves but then took her to a physician who concluded it was the flu. Christina says she was even relieved when she first heard the diagnosis. “The flu, that is not a terrible disease. People do not die from the flu, I said to myself. But then everything went downhill at incredible speed,” Christina says.

The couple wonders every day how it was possible that Luciana is no longer with them when she was a healthy and cheerful girl who had all the required vaccines. “We did everything according to the rules. She was vaccinated with all the required vaccines, and even some additional ones, but not with a vaccine against the flu, and that was probably fatal,” Joe said.

“If we knew enough about the dangers of influenza, we would certainly not skip this vaccination. However, we were never asked whether we would like to vaccinate her against the flu, and it is not compulsory or recommended for healthy children in Croatia,” Christina says, adding that in Canada, Australia and the United States the situation is different because children under the age of five are considered to be a high-risk group.

“It could be said that we were uninformed due to the perception of the flu as a disease which is not particularly dangerous, which is certainly not true,” Šimunić concludes.

Unfortunately, debates about vaccination against the flu and other diseases in Croatia are continuing and many misinformed parents are refusing to vaccinate their children.

Translated from Večernji List.


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