health

The Australian Vaccination Network banned

A judge has delivered the ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ with the slap down we’ve all been waiting for.

The Australian Vaccination Network has lost its appeal against a judgement demanding they change their name to properly reflect their philosophy.

You see, the Australian Vaccination Network is the most powerful anti vaccination network in the country. They deliberately chose a name that would set them up as a vaccination authority and then spent every waking second convincing parents not to vaccinate their children, leading to outbreaks of diseases such as measles in places like regional NSW, just to name one of many outbreaks communities are now dealing with.

It’s the most incredibly misleading name they could ever have thought of; manipulative and dangerous. And the court agrees.

Two sides? What two sides? AVN current website screenshot.

It was in January that the Department of Fair Trading first issued a directive to the AVN to change its name because "It had the potential to mislead the public" - but they fought the change tooth-and-nail. Now, almost a year later, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal has upheld the directive.

Magistrate Nancy Hennessy found the name suggested the ''association is pro-vaccination or, at least, is committed to providing comprehensive information and opinions about the pros and cons''. That's exactly what media outlets have been pointing out all along.

''The name should be changed so it is not likely to mislead the public in relation to its main object," Ms Hennessy said. High-five for Ms Hennessy.

Meryl Dorey from the AVN

Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, is happy with the decision, saying it was in the broader public interest. "Fair Trading acted in this matter after receiving numerous complaints, including from the Australian Medical Association, that the AVN name was misleading given its overwhelming focus on anti-vaccination messages and information," he told news.com.au. "The time has come for AVN to find a name which reflects its anti-vaccination stance.''

Associate Professor Brian Owler from the Australian Medical Association has urged parents to get vaccination advice from doctors. "The importance of vaccination cannot be understated in helping to keep children free from harm," he said. "Ultimately, your family GP is your best source of advice about vaccination."

If Meryl Dorey and the 'Australian Vaccination Network' are so sure of themselves, why not just call themselves what they really are? They are the Australian Anti-Vaccination Network - always have been and always will be.

Why did this need to become a legal fight?

Ms Dorey tweeted the ruling was "a victory for government censorship" which is just infuriating. It has nothing to do with censorship and everything to do with a name reflecting what you do. The fact she still doesn't get it speaks volumes.

Do you think the network should be forced to change its name to reflect its anti-vaccination stance?