Australian scientists worry over dropping levels of infant vaccinations

The anti-vaccination lobby in Australia is putting children's lives at risks by persuading parents to skip childhood vaccinations, according to several Australian scientists.

The number of parents in Australia refusing to vaccinate their children grew six-fold in the past few years. The researchers estimate that one in 12 infants in Australia is not completely immunized, Top News New Zealand reports.

Ian Frazer, the creator of the human papillomavirus cervical cancer vaccine, said that immunization for some diseases is dropping below the levels needed to prevent lethal outbreaks.

"As infectious diseases become less common people are less aware of the need to vaccinate their children," Frazer said, according to Top News New Zealand.

Frazer also expressed concern about the dangers caused by dropping immunization levels for diseases such as whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

Sir Gustav Nossal, a distinguished biologist, accused the anti-vaccination lobby of allowing the number of measles cases to increase by making false claims that the vaccine could cause autism.

The Academy of Science released a 20-page booklet on Monday to explain the dangers of avoiding immunization and the likelihood that more children will lose their lives to diphtheria, measles and mumps than to the purported side effects of vaccination, Top News New Zealand reports.