ABC 7:30 Report on vaccinationPosted: September 2, 2009
Tonight the ABC aired a report on the death of baby Dana McCaffery from whooping cough and the rise of the anti-vaccination movement in Australia. Although the report concluded favourably on the view that vaccination is an absolute public health necessity, journalists continue to insist on sticking to their ‘2 sides to every story’ dogma.
Interviews with paediatricians and the McCaffery family were given more air time than Meryl Dorey, the Australian Vaccination Network and the NSW North Coast new-age hippies but I feel that the naming and acknowledgement in particular of the AVN is unecessary. It gives those already erring towards an anti-vaccination stance somewhere to start their search for more (mis-)information. There was no mention of any other organisation or information source that would guide parents to some real, evidence-based information on vaccinations.
Organisations such as the AVN breed fear, paranoia and distrust of science and medicine, and don’t deserve to be given the publicity afforded to them by the 7:30 report. I’d bet a million bucks that there will be more Google searches for ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ than for ‘NSW Department of Health’ as a result of that report tonight.