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NSW Health Care complaint commission has receive several reports of deceptive and insecure anti-vaccination campaign ("Anti-Vax") practice and the possible health and security risk these individuals and organizations represent. Immunization is a straightforward, safer and more efficient way to protect humans from damaging illnesses before they come into direct human exposure.
Vaccination safeguards the individual and the fellowship by limiting the spreading of avoidable disease. Grievances have been filed against individual (including registrated and nonregistered health professionals as well as scientists) and organizations working for the broad dissemination of harmful anti-Vax news. Deceptive and imprecise information provided by anti-Sax activists can cause anguish and horror in the communities and reduce vaccinations.
Such information generally cites research and research in science to assist anti-Vax claiming, but is often selected, often by exaggeration of disease and minimizing or disparaging the benefit of a vaccine. It is likely to adversely affect individual health choices and may encourage them not to undertake vaccinations that present an unnecessary threat to their own health and public security.
Regrettably, anti-Vax activists are also known for addressing particularly vulnerable members of the fellowship, as well as impressive young families who are worried about making the right health choices for their children. Spreading deceptive and inaccurate information by anti-tax experts poses a constant threat to the authorities, especially as a result of the increasing use of online information and the dissemination of information about vaccination on the web.
In view of the ongoing effort of anti-fiscal experts to deceive and falsely inform members of the general public, the Commission believes it is necessary to alert all healthcare users to the risk of reliance on information that does not come from a trustworthy resource. Examples could be sites that appear "professional" and groups that are well organized in their approaches.
A few individuals and federations will even dissociate themselves from "anti-Vax" fighters and convey basically the same messages. How should the consumer act to help himself? We urge the consumer to be cautious and rely on information about the security and effectiveness of vaccines advertised through non- governmental or recommended associated and non-governmental web sites and via public relations channels.
In addition, users should be careful when individuals or groups distribute anti-Vax news by other means, such as personal information meetings and other popular outings. The following should be taken into account by the consumer in all cases when receiving information or guidance on the safe and effective use of Australian immunised products and programmes.
In order to make sure that you receive accurate information about the safe and effective nature of your vaccination and to help you make better decisions about the benefit and risk of certain types of vaccine, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed physician (e.g. your GP or paediatrician). The consumer should be particularly cautious towards those who claim to be "experts" or have "researched" on the safe and effective use of a vaccine or vaccination programme if they do not have appropriate health qualification and are not licensed physicians.
Healthcare workers are involved in health information and the delivery of immunizations, but it is not appropriate for healthcare workers to distribute anti-Vax reports through their own private SI sites or other fora. Consumer should not rely on "comments" about community content that do not come from a credible and trustworthy resource.
On-line research recommends visiting reputable governments sites, as well as the NSW Health and Commonwealth Department of Health and the National Centre for Immune Surveillance and Research (NCIRS) sites, which offer authoritative information on immunization and immunization programs: