Health and wellbeing is the priority for opponents and supporters of the flim VAXXED

By Dean Nathan

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, is a film that alleges autism is a disease born from immunisation.  But Dr Lance O'Sullivan is furious that the film is being screened in Northland, with the Kaitaia clinician concerned that its influence could reverse the hard-fought gains made against diseases afflicting Māori.

Dr O'Sullivan says, "It’s a real problem and it’s not good because it’s liable to make the situation worse if parents are in two minds about immunising their kids; so I'm very angry."

At a screening in Whangarei last night the Vaxxed New Zealand promoters say, the health and well-being of children and future generations are their utmost concern.

NZ Waves Ambassador Tricia Cheel says, "Vaccines need to be safe and people need the freedom to choose.  It’s got to be fully informed consent for parents and they can't get informed if the doctors aren't telling them.  The doctors aren't even giving them the inserts to read on the vaccinations.  So it’s all about freedom of choice, fully informed consent and safe vaccines."

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, is a 2016 American film alleging a cover-up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a purported link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

NZ Waves supporter David Colley says, "I think that prospective parents and parents of young children should see this film because it’s going to give them the other side of the argument.  I mean, all we hear from the government and the pharmaceutical corporations and doctors.  And they've got a lot of money at stake and a lot of reputations, and so people need to see what’s really going on."

While Northland has seen the benefits of the recent immunisation drive to fight rheumatic fever, Dr O'Sullivan is concerned about District Health Board statistics for the last two-quarters, which show a decline in the number of parents taking their children to be immunised.

Dr O'Sullvan says, "I think we should actually be increasing the range of diseases we can address through immunisation.  We've dealt with Meningitis and Pneumonia and a whole range of nasty diseases that have been killing our children and it’s a harrowing experience to witness Māori children dying.”

The film has been met with mixed reaction, screenings have gone ahead.