One Nation Party leader Pauline Hanson says Australia’s vaccination program could be linked to rising rates of autism and disease.
Ms Hanson revealed on Sunrise this morning that one of her grandchildren has not been vaccinated and that she would think twice before vaccinating her own children again.
“One of my grandchildren is not vaccinated, that was their parents' choice not to vaccinate them,” she told Sunrise.
“I had my kids vaccinated, but I tell you what, I’d think twice about it these days.”
Her comments came after she slammed Victoria’s acting Health Minister Jenny Mikakos for labeling parents who do not immunise their children as 'completely irresponsible'.
Ms Hanson also called for more ‘common sense’ to be used in the vaccination debate, which has been reignited by news an anti-vax mother was organising a party for unimmunised children at Melbourne Zoo.
“If other kids have been vaccinated, what’s the problem here?” she questioned.
She accused the government of being ‘irresponsible’ in the immunisation debate and criticised the ‘nanny approach’ they are taking by telling people what they have to do with their kids.
Ms Hanson went on to tell the Daily Mail that more research needs to be done about the link between vaccination and autism and cancer.
“I have had so many people who have brought it to my attention, that's why their kids are autistic,” she said.
“We haven't done the research enough, what is causing these kids to have autism, what is having all the cancer in our community, have we had enough answers into the cancer?”
The 2012 review of autism rates by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed an estimated 115,400 Australians had autism, which was up 79 per cent on 2009.
However in 2014, a systematic international review led by University of Sydney researches, found no evidence of a link between vaccinations and the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
While Cancer Australia predicted there would be 126,800 new cancer cases in 2015, an increase of 8,089 from 2011.
Despite studies showing that there is no link between vaccinations and autism, Ms Hanson thinks it should be up to parents to decide what is best for their children.
“The government has drawn a line in the sand, even childcare centres have been told they can't take them unless they have been immunised.”
Under the government’s current no-jab-no-pay policy, parents who do not immunise their children are not eligible for the Child Care Benefit, Rebate or the Family Tax Benefit A end-of year supplement.
During her appearance on Sunrise, Ms Hanson also noted the government had failed in their duty to protect people from disease by not carrying out adequate health checks on people entering Australia.
“When the government brought in people from African countries only 37 per cent were tested for disease,” she said.
“Tony Abbott admitted that when he was health minister.”
“The government needs to step up first to ensure that these people they’re bringing into the country don’t carry these diseases, like Tuberculosis that was just about wiped out here.”
The Health Department reports that the rate of TB notifications in Australia has remained relatively stable since 1986.
News break – January 11