Australian Vaccination Network spokeswoman Meryl Dorey is standing by Dr Andrew Wakefield, whose study linked vaccines to autism. Dr Wakefield has since been described as “an elaborate fraud” by the British Medical Journal and was found guilty last year of serious professional misconduct.
Australian Vaccination Network spokeswoman Meryl Dorey is standing by Dr Andrew Wakefield, whose study linked vaccines to autism. Dr Wakefield has since been described as “an elaborate fraud” by the British Medical Journal and was found guilty last year of serious professional misconduct. Jacklyn Wagner

Media authority effectively bans AVN from media comment

THE controversial Australian Vaccination Network is now effectively blacklisted as a media source after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reprimanded a regional broadcaster for using statements from AVN founder Meryl Dorey.

In an August 2012 report about a measles outbreak in Sydney, WIN News Illawarra included the following statement by Ms Dorey: "All vaccinations, in the medical literature, have been linked with the possibility of causing autism..."

According to ACMA, using the statement conveyed a "higher level of controversy and uncertainty about immunisation than was justified by the facts". WIN was found to have breached two provisions of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.

The findings come as a new local group to combat misinformation about vaccination has emerged.

As previously reported in The Northern Star, the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporter Group was started by Lennox Head polio survivor Ross Cornwill.

Mullumbimby mum Alison Gaylard helped start the group after her two daughters, became ill with whooping cough.

"Our group is a non-confrontational group - we're simply concerned about getting the correct information out to raise herd immunity in the area," Ms Gaylard said.

The AVN has lodged an appeal with the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal over an order by NSW Fair Trading to change their name, with a hearing set to take place tomorrow and Friday.


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