A Facebook advert warning parents that vaccines could “kill your child” has been banned.
According to the Independent, the paid-for post by Stop Mandatory Vaccination read: “Parents, not only can any vaccine given at any age kill your child, but if this unthinkable tragedy does occur, doctors will dismiss it as ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’ (SIDS).
“If you are on the fence about vaccinating, read this story and then join our Facebook group to talk with like-minded parents.”
The post also featured a picture of a baby with his eyes closed and the accompanying caption: “Owen Matthew Stokes (Aug 18, 2017 – Oct 25, 2017), while text underneath read: “2-month old dies 48 hours after 8 vaccines: Owen’s Mom speaks out.”
A mother of a young baby who saw the post complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and in a ruling published on Wednesday, the industry watchdog said the campaign made unsubstantiated claims.
It was also found to breach rules regarding harm and offence and misleading advertising.
The post was also ruled to have caused “undue distress”.
Before the ruling, campaigner Larry Cook, trading as Stop Mandatory Vaccination, provided US Department of Health data on compensation claims over alleged injury or death caused by vaccinations.
It also claimed to have targeted parents in a bid to encourage them to reconsider vaccinating their children.
Despite believing that parents might understand the ad was from an anti-vaccination campaign group and that in that context readers would appreciate that the ad represented the group’s own perspective, the ASA noted that the definitive language of the claim could make parents to believe all vaccinations were proven to have the capability of causing death in children.
Stop Mandatory Vaccination was ordered not to display the advertisement again in its current form.
“We told Stop Mandatory Vaccination not to state or imply that all vaccinations could cause death to children unless they held sufficient evidence to demonstrate that,” the ruling reads. “We also told them to ensure their marketing communications did not cause unjustifiable fear or distress.”
The topic of vaccinations is often thorny
Earlier this year experts issued a recommendation that all babies should receive the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
Speaking at the Global Hepatitis Summit in Toronto, professor Harry Janssen, director of the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, said vaccination at birth was the best way to protect children from Hepatitis B.
His advice echoes recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that all babies should receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours.
Meanwhile over in Australia, the Government has clamped down on its ‘no jab, no pay’ policy by issuing further fines for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
Back in 2016, the revolutionary initiative withheld end of year tax benefits from families which refused to vaccinate their children.
But in a bid to crack down on even further, stricter sanctions have now been introduced which mean citizens who refuse to keep up to date with immunisations face losing $28 (approximately £16) from their tax benefits every two weeks.
The mum-of-two, who cannot be named, is so opposed to giving her children everyday medicines that she refuses to even give her children Calpol when they are poorly.
Having objected to giving her sons’ routine vaccinations, the mum was told by a High Court judge that she must comply with an order from the Court of Protection to have them vaccinated.
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