DR GEOFF Cashion has thrown his support behind parents Kellie and Darren Evans, who are standing firm on their decision to vaccinate their son.
The Rockhampton GP, who practices at Allenstown Medical Centre, heard about the recent string of anti-vaccination abuse centred on the couple and decided to publicly announce his support.
The Morning Bulletin wrote a piece last week on the online backlash Kellie and Darren faced after their infant son, Brooklyn, stopped breathing during his two-month vaccination session, despite doctors being unsure if the immunisations were the cause.
Brooklyn is being taken to a hospital this month to receive his four-month vaccinations under strict supervision from specialised doctors.
Dr Cashion is impressed with Kellie's decision and reminded the public of the need for vaccinations.
"She should be congratulated on her bravery in making a choice that must be very hard to make. Choosing to continue is a courageous choice, but they are doing it under very strict circumstances that provides the greatest element of safety," he said.
"It is a pity about the backlash from anti-vaxxers... there are risks as there are with every medical procedure, but they are extremely rare and the benefits always outweigh the potential for small risk."
Dr Cashion said although he hadn't had many objections to vaccinations in Rockhampton, he had experienced an increase in refusals across the nation.
"I have worked in the Northern Rivers in NSW, where we had a lot of people refusing to vaccinate their children," he said.
"I personally will not sign the conscientious objection form if patients bring them into me; I will not involve myself in that movement."
He blamed an increase in misinformation and a turn away from facts for the increase in those choosing to join the anti-vaccination movement.
"There are myths around vaccinations. The most prevalent one surrounding autism has been completely disproved; it was fraudulent research," he said.
"We do it because the science is emphatic on the benefits of vaccinations... it is quite disturbing. (The anti-vaccination) is an anti-intellectual movement that has no basis in science, but instead relies on myth and falsehoods."
To the point
Dr Cashion yesterday invited The Bulletin to be present for the vaccination of his one-year-old daughter, Ella.
"I certainly see it as hugely important for me to vaccinate Ella. I think the big thing is that there aren't any consequences of vaccinating but there certainly are consequences, not just for your own children, but others in the community, if you don't," he said.
Ella received her immunisations for measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C.