Breaking news! The complaint to the NSW State Government-funded Health Care Complaints commission (HCCC) has been successfully upheld! Now the AVN has to feature disclaimers on their website.
It’s only just showing on ABC1′s Lateline program over in the Eastern States – if you’re in Western Australia, it’ll be screened at 10.35pm. There’ll be a transcript, vodcast and details on their official site, if you’re unable to see it today.
In addition, the ABC website has a short news item by Steve Cannane, which you can see in the picture I’ve attached to this blog-post: ‘Anti-Vaccine Group Accused of Harassing, Misleading Parents’.
‘In Australia vaccination is a key plank of public health strategy. It is thus extremely important for individuals, especially parents, to be able to make informed decisions about vaccination. The AVN provides information that is misleading for the average reader by inaccurately representing information, selectively reporting information, and giving non-peer reviewed and anecdotal material the same authority as peer -reviewed literature’. The NSW State Government-funded Health Care Complaints commission (HCCC).
The final report, in pdf format, may be downloaded at HCCC: AVN Final Report (PDF) - it includes the following:
The Australian Vaccination Network should include an appropriate statement in a prominent position on its website which states:
- the Australian Vaccination Network’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 should not be read as medical advice; and
- the decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.
An anti-vaccination group has been found guilty of providing misleading information on immunisation in Australia and ordered by the Health Care Complaints Commission in NSW to include disclaimers on its website.
After investigating a complaint against The Australian Vaccination Network, the HCCC has ruled that the information provided to the public by the AVN “is misleading in that often information is omitted which does not provide the reader with an accurate picture of vaccination issues.”
…The AVN’s founder, Meryl Dorey, has posted the judgment online, in which the HCCC says the AVN should include a disclaimer to this effect in a prominent position on its website, stating that the AVN should not be regarded as medical advice and that decisions to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.