Over the last month, a group that had called itself the Australian Vaccination Network has suffered some heavy blows at the hands of Australian state governments.

The group, which questions the safety and efficacy of vaccination, had been targeted by state regulators in the past, but it appealed the penalties they imposed.

Now it has lost two appeals; as a result, it’s been forced to both change its name and cease all fundraising as a charity.
There is a strong consensus among medical and public health authorities that vaccines are generally safe and are clearly effective at preventing disease.

In their absence, diseases such as the measles have frequently resurfaced, with last year seeing nearly triple the number of cases in the US. Despite this track record, many countries have seen groups organize to oppose state-sanctioned or -mandated vaccination programs.
Australia has not been immune (pun intended); the Australian Vaccination Network was founded in 1994 to engage in “Lobbying to ensure that vaccinations are never made compulsory for Australian children.” To that end, it publicizes questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness, often relying on questionable science to do so. (Its tagline? “The AVN—because every issue has two sides.”)

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