Aug 28, 2017

Secrecy surrounds screening of anti-immunisation doco Vaxxed

Peta Rasdien
The West Australian
August 22, 2017

Anti-vaxxers are resorting to covert tactics to ensure a screening of controversial documentary Vaxxed goes ahead on Friday.

Ticket holders have been told it will be shown somewhere in the northern suburbs, with final location details only emailed or texted two hours before the event in order to get the jump on the “pro-censorship brigade”. They will also be required to produce photo ID.

The documentary has been produced by discredited British doctor Andrew Wakefield and attempts to draw a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. A theory that has no scientific credibility, according to Australian Medical Association WA president Omar Korshid.

He urged venue managers at local councils, schools and other public buildings to check their bookings for Friday.

“It is likely to be shown in a small venue somewhere and it is possible that the venue may not be aware of what it is being used for,” he said.

“If venues would be uncomfortable as host for this film which could have negative health implications for the community if it becomes popular then perhaps they should look at what has been shown in the various bookings on Friday to make sure they are not unwittingly part of it.”

The documentary was shown at a Melville City Council community centre in May.

The Federal Government has banned two of the film’s promoters from coming into Australia for three years.

“The Government has taken a dim view of this agenda at a national level,” Dr Korshid said.

“At a local level, what small bodies can do is make sure the film isn’t being shown at their venue if they don’t agree with it, if they do agree with it, then fine, show it and stand up and defend yourself in front of your members.”

Dr Korshid said concerns about the film and the false science it promoted were about it cementing the views of anti-vaccinators rather than recruiting new believers and causing a drop in vaccination rates.

“A little bit like in (the Perth Waldorf School) you can end up with a pocket of unvaccinated people that then become a potential source of a big outbreak of an unpleasant disease such as measles which can in rare cases have very serious consequences for the people who catch it.”

Three students from the Perth Waldorf School in Bibra Lake have now been confirmed as having measles.

Health authorities issued a public health alert earlier this month after one child returned with the disease after a holiday to Italy, which is in the grip of a measles epidemic. The two confirmed secondary cases were in unvaccinated students.

The remaining unvaccinated students at the school, excluded to minimise the risk of contracting the disease after the first case was revealed, were welcomed back to the school last week.

No comments: