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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The AMA (WA) has urged the nation’s media not to be conned into carrying the anti-vaccination message, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said.
“The Australian media is generally very good at supporting the overwhelming body of scientific evidence behind public vaccination programs, and reports on its safety and efficacy in a responsible manner,” Dr Gannon said.
“However we do occasionally see news segments being used as a platform to promote the crazy anti-vaccination message.
“There is no vaccine debate to be had – the proof on the safety and efficacy of vaccines is indisputable, and this needs to reflected in the reporting of vaccine-related news.
“Recently, vaccine related articles online have been hijacked by anti-vaccine propaganda disguised as ‘featured content’. One such example is an incredible 83 minute long video that masquerades itself as an even-handed documentary on vaccines.
“Whether this is paid product placement or a bid to generate discussion is irrelevant – the message it promotes is a dangerous one.
It’s not only the media that occasionally falls victim to the anti-vaccination rhetoric – even academics have been allowed themselves to be misled by conspiracy theorists dressing up their ridiculous claims as ‘science’.
“We cannot afford to get complacent when it comes to vaccination – we have had outbreaks of whooping cough and mumps across the State last year. We will see more outbreaks if enough people start listening to the misinformation peddled by vaccine refusers,” Dr Gannon said.