“Do your research on the shit & watched the documentary vaxxed …” The tweet was liked by fellow athlete, footballer Archie Thompson who has also promoted anti-vaccination in the past.
The World Health Organisation says the 1998 study, which raised concerns about a possible link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, was later found to be “seriously flawed and fraudulent” and was retracted by the journal that published it.
“There is no evidence of a link between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders,” the World Health Organisation advises.
Paralympian Kurt Fearnley said Mundine was a “peanut” and should see first-hand the effects of diseases such as polio that can be prevented through vaccinations.
“You got many mates with Polio? I do. A heap. From countries that didn’t have the luxury of vaccinations you peanut….” Fearnely said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the commuity should ignore Mundine’s dangerous and ignorant views.
“I have no time for anti-vaxxers and the message they are sending is extremely dangerous,” Mr Hunt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“This includes high-profile individuals who spread dangerous information about vaccines on social media.”
“The science is in – vaccines works. They save and protect lives.”
Australian immunisation levels are at 94.62 per cent, which is a record high although just shy of the government’s 95 per cent target.
Mundine’s anti-vaccination comments come as new data shows Australia is experiencing its highest number of measeles cases in five years.
As at April 5, there had been 83 measles cases this year, compared with 103 for the whole of 2018 and 81 for the whole of 2017.
The number of diagnoses are so high they have prompted the government to target unvaccinated travellers arriving in Australia with 100 per cent of the cases traced to individuals who contracted the infection from overseas and travelled back to Australia.
Latika Bourke is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in London.