The AMA and the Australian Academy of Science have launched a booklet to help GPs counter misinformation around vaccination.
The booklet, The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers, lays out the scientific evidence for vaccination and tackles concerns around side effects and safety.
Around 72,000 copies have been distributed to key locations, including doctors’ surgeries.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley launched the booklet at Parliament House in Canberra last week, with support from Professor Peter Doherty, the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
“The academy’s thorough scientific evidence and research … is the perfect response to the lies, misinformation, and fear that is peddled by the anti-vaccination movement,” AMA President Dr Michael Gannon said.
“It is important that parents know all there is to know about vaccination, and the academy’s booklet answers all the questions and provides compelling evidence about the benefits to the health of the child.”
Vaccinations rates in Australia are fairly high, with more than 90% of children under five being fully immunised.
Since the Government’s No Jab No Pay policy was introduced in January, a further 6,000 children, previously registered as conscientious objectors, have become fully immunised.
“Unfortunately, there are still areas within our community – such as the Gold Coast, western Sydney, and the north coast of NSW – with lower than average immunisation rates,” Dr Gannon said.
“It is the job of doctors to reassure patients when they present with fears or concerns about immunisation,” he said.