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Senate to anti-vax group: Pack up and go home

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 25 Jun 2013

The Senate today passed a motion by Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, calling on the Australian Vaccination Network to disband and to cease its “harmful and unscientific scare campaign against vaccines”.

The Greens motion, which noted low vaccination rates in some parts of Australia and called the AVN’s campaign of misinformation around vaccines “irresponsible”, was passed unanimously by the Senate.

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

“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. As a doctor, I saw first-hand the tragedy these easily preventable diseases can cause.

“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.”

The text of the motion was as follows:
That the Senate –

(a)        notes the low vaccination rates in certain parts of Australia, and the threat this poses to the health of Australian children;
(b)        notes the irresponsible campaign run by the Australian Vaccination Network, which is spreading misinformation about the risks of vaccination and discouraging parents from vaccinating their children;
(c)        calls on the AVN to immediately disband and cease their harmful and unscientific scare campaign against vaccines.

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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