Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Vaxxed Spreads Like a Plague

By Peter Bowditch

The anti-vaccination movement has employed dishonest tactics to ensure the public screening of Vaxxed in Australia.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

In 2016 the film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe was submitted to Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It was described as a film about the causes and treatment of autism, and was included in the festival program without being viewed by the organisers (De Niro has an autistic son, and like many parents in this situation he was eager for more information). After a public protest was triggered by the names of the people associated with the film’s production, it was withdrawn from the festival, although De Niro said that he still thought it might contain information that was useful to parents in his situation.

The names of the people who made the film were such significant red flags that it was obvious to anybody familiar with the anti-vaccination agenda that it would simply be propaganda against vaccines and would contain little if any science or even truth. One person who saw the film commented: “Leni Riefenstahl would have baulked at making something this dishonest”.

The first red flag was that the film was directed by Andrew Wakefield and appeared to be an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation. Wakefield was lead author on a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 which suggested a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. Further investigation discovered extremely poor methodology, very large conflicts of interest, medical...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.