Travel Trouble

Hundreds join anti-vaxxer group’s national bus tour

Hundreds join anti-vaxxer group’s national bus tour

Hundreds of people in NSW have signed up to join a national anti-vaxxer bus tour, which has been slammed as “inappropriate” and “irresponsible” by health experts.

The Daily Telegraph reported four hundred people from NSW have registered their interest in the “Vaxxed” bus tour, which is set to hit the road in mid-July.

Meryl Dorey, spokeswoman for The Australian Vaccination-risks Network told 7News the road trip will spread the supposed “dangers of compulsory vaccination” around the country.

The tour will also include screenings of Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe and Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth among others. Andrew Wakefield, who directed the first Vaxxed film and appeared in the second, was struck off the medical register in 2010 due to ethical misconducts related to his controversial research.

The announcement of the tour has been met with condemnation from public health experts.

“The benefits of vaccination have been proven over and over again on a worldwide basis,” Dr Kean-Seng Lim, immediate past president of the Australian Medical Association told The Daily Telegraph.

“A lot of the anti-vax movement is based on rumours and untruths … any process which increases the misinformation out there is harmful to our society.”

Robert Booy, professor of paediatrics at the University of Sydney, said local councils must ban the group from using public venues and facilities during its bus tour.

“It is totally inappropriate that local councils allow false scientific information [to be spread] in their communities,” he told 7News.

The World Health Organisation has declared vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health.

Sydney Health Ethics lecturer Dr Claire Hooker said health experts should have “great understanding and kindness” towards people who are worried about the side effects of immunisation.

“It’s reasonable for parents to want to know about and understand something they’ve been told they must do,” she told 7News.

”And if they are laughed at or mocked and their concerns put aside, they could be inclined to move closer towards the anti-vaxxer position.

“It is important for people in public health to provide opportunities for communication with parents who are unsure about where to get accurate information.”