Anti-vaccination campaigner Dr Sherri Tenpenny has cancelled her speaking tour of Australia after threats were made against her.
Tenpenny, from Ohio, was booked to appear in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.
The ABC reported tour organiser and fellow speaker, Australian Stephanie Messenger, said on her Facebook page, “threats have been persistent”.
“We are not able to insure [sic] that the attendees would be safe from harm,” Messenger wrote.
During her speaking tour, which was scheduled for March, Tenpenny planned to address what she says are the negative impacts of vaccines on health.
“What is actually in those vaccines? There’s a whole lot more coming through that needle than you can possibly imagine,” Tenpenny says.
According to her website, these are the five key ideologies Tenpenny stands for:
- We oppose the one-size-fits-all public health policy imposed by state rules and enforced by physicians, hospitals and public health employees.
- We oppose public health policies that demand the rights of the individuals must be secondary to rights of individuals to refuse the injection of products that can have long term, even deadly, consequences to their health.
- We support the freedom to refuse any medical procedure, including vaccination.
- We support fully informed consent, which means admitting to the harm that vaccines can cause and allowing the person time for consideration.
- We believe that vaccines can cause more harm to the health of the individual – and subsequently to the community as a whole – than the good vaccines are claimed to do by vaccine proponents.
The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) reveals the rate of conscientious objection for children under seven years has risen every year for the last 15 years.
The rate of conscientious objection in Australia increased around 0.10% year-on-year. In December 1999 there were just 4,271 children (0.23%) with conscientious objection recorded. As of December 2013 this figure increased eight-fold to 35,698 (1.61%).
In March the SMH reported that only about 80% of five-year-old children in affluent suburbs in Sydney’s north, inner west and east were fully immunised against contagious diseases, according to data from the National Health Performance Authority.
Australian Medical Association NSW president Brian Owler said the side effects of vaccinations were “very low and mild in nature”.
“One of the things we are battling is parents who are worried because they’ve been influenced by vaccination sceptics,” he said.
“I suspect there is a cultural element that has crept into some areas and they are seeking alternatives to vaccination.”
According to research by the Medical Journal of Australia influenza vaccines registered for use in young children in Australia are safe and well tolerated by children aged under 10 years.
In April last year, Bill Gates tweeted a very interesting graphic about vaccines, showing how cheap (and therefore cost-effective) vaccines really are at preventing disease and saving lives.