Vaccination is one of the great success stories of modern medicine and public health.
It has saved millions of lives around the world and led to the control of many infectious diseases. Because of immunisation, smallpox now only exists in high security research laboratories.
But recent reports show a decline in immunisation rates in some areas of Australia as parents, often in affluent suburbs, choose not to immunise their children.
At the same time, anti-vaccination groups continue to spread lies and misinformation about vaccination.
The truth is that declining vaccination rates are a threat to public health.
We need to spread the facts and make available balanced evidence so that people can make informed decisions about what is best for the health of their children and the health of other children in our schools and in the community.
People trust their GP with their family health. We are making sure that as many GPs as possible have copies of the Academy of Science booklet so they can share quality evidence with parents who need reassurance about the safety of vaccination.
The booklet was prepared by the country’s leading scientists in the field of immunology and reviewed by some of Australia’s most prominent and esteemed science and medical figures.
The strong scientific evidence, clear explanations, and easy-to-understand language of the booklet will help reassure people, including conscientious objectors, about the safety and efficacy of immunisation and help stop the decline in immunisation rates.
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The Science of Immunisation handbook is available from the Australian Academy of Science. It is endorsed by the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of Physicians.