The controversial screening of an anti-vaccination film at a Queensland high school is being investigated.
Almost 500 anti-vaccination protesters attended the event at Miami State High School. The group had been told of the event in advance but the location was kept under wraps until several hours prior.
The school principal was told the film would be about organic produce. The Education Minister, Kate Jones, called out the group for lying to the school and its community.
“They lied on the (venue hire) form, they lied to the school and they lied to the community” Kate Jones, Education Minister
The Queensland State Government has a very strong stance on the issue and has worked hard in the past to convey the importance of child vaccinations to parents. Prior to the school screening, Health Minister Cameron Dick urged the community to boycott the documentary.
A Gold Coast public health physician, Paul Van Buynder, referred to some worrying statistics in his statement to the media. 1.3 percent of Australians identify as objectors, but Buynder is more concerned about the twenty-five percent of parents who remain unsure. A propagandist film such as Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe is potentially very influential and damaging to this segment.
“It’s very easy to frighten a parent and no parent wants to do harm to their child” Van Buynder, Physician
As of June 2017, almost 95 percent of children between 12 and 15 months living in Queensland were up to date on immunisations. This number dropped to 92 percent for children aged 24 to 27 months.
Hopefully this documentary will not inflict too much damage on the already fragile public opinion surrounding child vaccination, especially in the era of fake news.