Anti-vax doco to get ‘secret’ screening
ANTI-vaccination campaigners will screen a controversial film at a secret venue in Cairns next month, to share the "truth" about vaccines.
It comes as Cairns is in the grip of a measles outbreak, with six cases so far identified by public health officials, with four in Cairns and two in Mareeba. The most recent case was confirmed on November 18.
The Cairns location where the screening of US-produced feature-length documentary Vaxxed II: The People's Truth will take place on December 6 is being kept under wraps to avoid pro-vaccination protesters, according to Australian Vaccination Risks Networks spokeswoman Meryl Dorey.
Ms Dorey, who lives in northern NSW, said the timing of the premiere of the documentary in the Far North was purely coincidental, and had nothing to do with the push by medical authorities to have more people vaccinated against measles to prevent the disease from spreading.
"This is something that has been planned for many months," she said.
It is the second time the lobby group has brought a feature-length documentary to Cairns, screening Vaxxed: from Cover-Up to Catastrophe in the city and Kuranda in late 2017.
Kuranda consistently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Queensland, believed to be due to the alternative lifestyle of many residents in the rainforest village.
The latest health figures show 88.13 per cent of Kuranda's children between the ages of 24-27 months are fully vaccinated, compared to the national average of 94.85 per cent.
Ms Dorey said the documentary did not show why people shouldn't be vaccinated against diseases.
"It's about alerting people to be able to make informed choices when it comes to all health issues, and vaccinations in particular," she said.
Tropical Public Health Services Cairns director Richard Gair said there were significant measles outbreaks in many countries, including New Zealand and Samoa, which each had more than 2000 cases diagnosed.
"There have been at least 25 measles-related deaths in Samoa alone," Dr Gair said.
"This highlights how infectious measles is, and the importance for people who are unvaccinated to be immunised.
"Failing to protect yourself through immunisation could lead to a much larger outbreak in Australia."
He said vaccination was the most effective way to protect against measles.
"Routine vaccination also protects against other potentially fatal diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and meningitis," he said.