The Australian Vaccination Network is receiving plenty of negative publicity ever since the Health Care Complaints Commission issued this public warning.
by the Health Care Complaints Commission under section 94A of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993
The Health Care Complaints Commission has investigated two complaints about the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), a non-profit organisation registered in New South Wales that provides information about vaccination. The complaints alleged that the AVN provides incorrect and misleading information about vaccination.
The Commission’s investigation of the complaints focussed on the material presented by the AVN on its website www.avn.org.au.
The Commission’s investigation established that the AVN website:
- provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
- contains information that is incorrect and misleading
- quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.
On this basis, the Commission recommended to the AVN that it should include a statement in a prominent position on its website to the following effect:
- The AVN’s purpose is to provide information against vaccination, in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere.
- The information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice.
- The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.
The Commission recognises that it is important for there to be debate on the issue of vaccination. However, the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading.
The AVN’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the Commission may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate, and therefore poses a risk to public health and safety.
Since this warning was issued the news has been rapidly spreading across the main stream media. I looks like everyone wants a piece of the AVN. These are the known news articles so far.
Anti-vaccination website poses public health risk – New Scientist
Warning issued about AVN – Northern Rivers News
Warning order for anti-vaccine website – Sydney Morning Herald
Vaccination network to be audited – Northern Rivers News
Vaccine fear campaign investigated – Sydney Morning Herald
Anti-vaccination group declared unsafe – News-Medical.net
AVN website to carry warning – Pharmacy News
Anti-vaccination group accused of harassing parents – ABC Lateline
Vaccination group needles opponents – ABC News
Vaccine campaign plea: parents who lost baby Dana stonewalled by government – Sydney Morning Herald
Still no warning on whooping cough – Sydney Morning Herald
Public warning against anti-vaccination website – Medical Observer
HCCC warns public on anti-vaccine group – IBTHealth
This list doesn’t even count the dozens of independent blogs covering this issue; they can be found here. Since the HCCC issued it’s warning it looks like the AVN’s reputation is sinking quickly. I look forward to seeing how much more negative publicity the AVN can generate for it’s self.