Stuff.com NZ | Donna Lee Biddle
|Dr Noni MacDonald, a professor of paediatrics is speaking at the NZ Immunisation conference about improving vaccine acceptance.|
A top doctor speaking at a national immunisation conference in Hamilton has likened parents who refuse to vaccinate their children to flat earth advocates.
The stark message from Dr Noni MacDonald, a Canadian leader in paediatric infectious diseases comes as medics discussed 'vaccine hesitancy', including the example of a Waikato family during the recent measles outbreak who thought they would be safe from the disease if they ate the right foods.
MacDonald, who has done work for the World Health Organisation, said the only way to protect against infectious diseases was by getting immunised and those who contended otherwise "are the people that think the world is flat, not round".
"Measles is probably our most infectious virus and people just don't get it," she said.
"You're nuts if you don't immunise, it's like denying children the right to grow up and grow old."
There were 124 confirmed cases of measles in the Waikato last year and the outbreak was linked with a strain that plagued Auckland. Continue reading