SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Australian Senate calls on AVN to stop anti-vaccine campaigns

The Australian Senate passed a motion on Tuesday from Greens Health Spokesperson Dr. Richard Di Natale urging the Australian Vaccination Network to discontinue its campaign against vaccines.

The campaign, which Natale called a "harmful and unscientific scare campaign against vaccines," was targeted for giving the public misinformation about the risks of getting vaccinated. The Greens motion said the AVN's campaign was "irresponsible" and was unanimously passed by the Senate.

"I have had people contact me who have lost children to diseases that have a safe and effective vaccine," Di Natale said. "Well-meaning parents are being fed dangerous misinformation which undermines their faith in the safety of vaccines. This has to stop."

Di Natale said some of the statements from the campaign went too far, giving the public skewed information about the real risk of some preventable-diseases.

"The AVN have gone so far as to promote measles as a healthy gift from mother nature and not the deadly disease it really is," Di Natale said.

Di Natale said as a doctor he knows the risk of remaining unvaccinated against easily-preventable diseases is higher than the risk of getting vaccinated. He said he has seen the dangers of remaining unvaccinated first-hand.

"Today the Senate has joined with the public health community to send a clear and strong message to those who are peddling lies about vaccines - they should pack up and go home," Di Natale said.