Editorial

THE unified condemnation of senator Pauline Hanson’s remarks regarding vaccinations could not be more warranted.

The One Nation leader, speaking on Sunday, labelled the Federal Government’s move to restrict welfare eligibility to parents who fail to immunise their children as a “dictatorship”, before saying “people have a right to investigate (for) themselves”.

Under the policy, which came into effect in January last year, families can lose payments of up to $15,000 annually, through childcare benefits and rebates, for failing to immunise their children.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull slammed Ms Hanson’s comments, before adding that the ‘no jab, no pay’ policy had led to more than 200,000 children being vaccinated since the scheme was first implemented.

Health professionals also joined the chorus of condemnation, completely refuting the senator’s assertions.

The fact that both sides of politics – both Liberal and Labor – condemned Ms Hanson’s remarks shows just how crucial vaccinations are for children, and how ill-informed are her remarks.

Just like there is a small minority of our population that believes the Earth is flat, there are still a few ignorant people among us that argue vaccines are bad for children.

Unfortunately, those with that view have reached their conclusion based on their personal beliefs or ideology, rather than scientific fact.

And what is Ms Hanson encouraging parents to “investigate”, exactly?

Many ‘vaccine refusers’ cite potential serious side-effects resulting from the medication – Ms Hanson has previously linked vaccinations with autism, a commonly debunked fallacy – however, in reality, the data shows any reactions are generally mild.

The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in support of immunisation.

The biggest danger of all is, in fact, parents who actively go against the advice of expert health professionals and leave their children un-immunised and at risk of disease and, in turn, put other people’s children at risk, too.

Ms Hanson’s comments only serve to empower ‘anti-vaccination’ individuals who believe they are more in the know than trained professionals, and are far more dangerous than the vaccines she, herself, is telling us to question.

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