HEALTH Minister Roger Cook is examining all options to remove a billboard that provides a link to a radical American anti-vaccination group.
The billboard, placed in Perth’s CBD, shows a woman holding texts books with a question next to her asking “Do you know what’s in a vaccine?”
It then provides a link to US anti-vaccination group Learn The Risk.
“This devious and nasty billboard would have people believe that a reference to a US website would actually provide useful information about how people can best look after their health care,” he said.
“It’s dangerous and misleading and puts people’s lives at risk.”
Mr Cook said had been in discussions with the Town of Vincent mayor to see what powers were available under planning laws to remove the billboard.
“I’m told the Town of Vincent will be making complaints to the Advertising Standards Board to see if we can have it permanently taken down,” he said.
“The billboard was put up in the dead of night and we need measures in place to ensure the public does not fall to prey to these devious and deceitful tactics.
“It strikes an alarming new tactic that anti-vax campaigners are using interests in the US to bring their insidious message to WA.
“They may change tactics and find new ways to get their message out there and we need to be vigilant to protect WA public from these lies.”
WA Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Korshid said the billboard was “appalling” and a blatant anti-health message.
“In recent years we’ve seen a worrying number of cases of infectious diseases like mumps, measles and whooping cough in Western Australia,” he said.
“These misleading campaigns undermine confidence in evidence-based vaccination programs and could be linked to a resurgence of preventable infectious diseases.
“It is completely unacceptable that billboards promoting lies and conspiracy theories are up on busy streets in Perth.
“If you want to Google the safety of vaccines, visit reputable sites – or better yet have a look on YouTube and watch a video of infants in ICU struggling with whooping cough.”