The Queensland Health Minister has smashed the motives of Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) in a strongly worded statement just released. The statement was issued after it emerged Meryl Dorey, the AVN’s representative and founder was given a platform to espouse her anti-vaccination views at the festival, despite having been officially discredited by the Health Care Complaints Commission.
The debate fired up on Mamamia right here. The folk festival is sponsored by numerous outside companies and organisations such as the Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Queensland Government but the program remains a choice of festival organisers like director Bill Hauritz who made no attempts to defend the decision to give her a platform.
Here it is in full:
Parents should vaccinate themselves and their children, Minister for Health Geoff Wilson said today.
Mr Wilson said fringe groups like the misleadingly named ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ are wrong to discourage people from getting vaccinated.
“I love Woodford Folk Festival. I’ve been numerous times. There’s great music, great food and great folk entertainment. Fortunately, there’s enough wonderful things to do at Woodford that patrons have plenty of alternatives rather than sitting through the nonsense Meryl Dorey spouts about vaccination dangers”, Mr Wilson said.
“For the small number of people who might be entertained by what Ms Dorey has to say, Woodford Folk Festival has a place for everyone. Just don’t take her nonsense too seriously.”
“The fact is vaccinations have saved millions of lives. Their invention was a miracle of scientific achievement.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer said Queensland Health remained absolutely committed to delivering its immunisation program to as many Queenslanders as possible.
“In the past year hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders have been protected against deadly diseases such as whooping cough, cervical cancer, diphtheria and measles, as well as influenza.” she said.
“The benefits of vaccination are obvious. Between 1930 and 1988, around 40,000 Australians developed paralytic Polio. Now Australia is Polio free.”
“Vaccination prevents potentially fatal conditions like measles, diphtheria and whooping cough.”
“This program saves lives, and we will continue to urge Queenslanders to vaccinate their children against life-threatening illnesses,” Dr Young said.
“Queensland’s vaccination program is extremely safe and is the most effective way to prevent illness and death from vaccine preventable diseases,” she said.
So, if Woodford Folk Festival insists on having her speak, this seems like pretty good advice.