WE SAY: YouTube not proof of vaccine risks or evil koalas

PARENTS need to take responsibility for vaccinating their children and the Sunshine Coast's vaccination rate is appalling, with only 88% of five-year-olds up to date with their jabs.

Medical professionals argue that education and the carrot will function better than waving a big stick at stubborn parents. And they are right.

But the problem they face in educating families about the need for vaccinations is that they are competing with the unfiltered garbage propaganda so readily found on the internet.

A reader wrote to the Daily just this week, citing a YouTube clip of some terrorist as evidence to support his hate-filled letter to the editor about Islam.

RELATED: Bid for vaccination vans to save Coast kids

Type "vaccination" into a search engine and you'll find a whole raft of "20 reasons not to vaccinate your child" and other horror furphies.

But guess what? Type something like "koalas are evil" (as a random example) into Google and you also get "Koala bears are pure evil" and "Proof positive koalas are secretly evil gremlins".

Our point is, you can find something on the internet to support whatever obscure and wrong point of view you might have.

And that's what medical professionals are up against - an age of self-diagnosis and internet science.

The vacs vans are a good way to get children access to immunisation but we are losing the education war to propaganda, and turning the tides on that battle is key to saving lives.

Topics:  editors picks internet opinion vaccination we say

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