‘Public enemy number 1’: Paediatrician receives threats after pro-vaccine TikTok goes viral

Oliver O'Connell
Patients would receive twice-yearly injections of the treatment: Getty Images

A viral video posted on the popular TikTok app by an Ohio paediatrician has resulted in “a tsunami of negative comments” across all of her social media from anti-vaxxers.

The lighthearted video extolling the benefits of vaccines was posted by Dr Nicole Baldwin. The video also states that vaccines do not cause autism. Scientific evidence shows there is no such link.

The video has been viewed more than 1.4 million times, and since it was posted Dr Baldwin and her staff have been on the receiving end of threats and fraudulent reviews of her practice.

The threats have included Dr Baldwin being labelled as “Public Enemy #1”. Another stated that she should “stop killing our kids with vaccines”.

Dr Baldwin created the video to counter misleading posts about vaccines on social media.

The video shows her pointing to a list of diseases that are easily preventable with vaccinations: measles, polio, influenza, pertussis, hepatitis, HPV, meningitis, mumps, tetanus, varicella, rotavirus, and pneumococcus.

Despite the efforts of the medical community, a Gallup Poll conducted in December 2019 found that 46 per cent of Americans are still unsure about the widely disproved connection between vaccines and autism.

The same poll found that 16 per cent of parents with children younger than 18 years old believe vaccines cause more harm than good.

The response to Dr Baldwin’s post has highlighted the problems of countering misinformation campaigns on social media for those in the medical and scientific communities.

It also shines a spotlight on social media companies and what they are doing to counter the spread of misinformation.

In a statement, TikTok said it “removes misinformation that could cause harm to an individual’s health or wider public safety”.

Dr Baldwin refuses to be bullied, saying she stands by her message and will not be taking her post down.

@drnicolebaldwin

Vaccines save bro #vaccinate #vaccinateurkids #pediatrician #doctor mamadoctorjones

♬ Original Sound - Unknown

On her Facebook page Dr Baldwin says: ⁣”It has taken a team working around the clock to ban over 5000 attackers from my Facebook page alone. Fraudulent reviews have been posted on multiple rating sites, most notably Google and Yelp. All reviews have been reported and are under investigation.⁣”

She adds: “Photos of mine have been altered with antivaxx propaganda and shared across all social platforms. These too have been reported.” ⁣

The police are also investigating following calls to her office harassing staff and threatening the business.

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