31 Aug 2017

Anti-vaccination advocate denied entry into Australia

7:33 pm on 31 August 2017

One of the world's most prominent anti-vaccination advocates has been denied entry to Australia due to his "dangerous" views.

Anti-vaccination campaigner Kent Heckenlively.

Kent Heckenlively Photo: Facebook / Kent Heckenlively

Kent Heckenlively was planning to visit Australia later this year for an international tour calling on parents to stop vaccinating their children.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the decision to deny Mr Heckenlively entry, saying his views were not welcome in Australia.

"These people who are telling kids, telling parents that their kids shouldn't be vaccinated are dangerous people," he told a Sydney radio station.

"We have been very clear in having a look right through this particular case, and it is clear to me that it is not in our national interest that he should come here."

Australia is considering banning unvaccinated children from childcare centres.

A $5.5 million immunisation education campaign was launched by the Australian government. Photo: AFP / VOISIN / Phanie

Labor health spokesperson Catherine King called on the government last week to ban Mr Heckenlively, describing him as a dangerous "zealot".

Two other anti-vaccination campaigners, Polly Tommey and Suzanne Humphries, have also been reportedly banned from returning to Australia after showing the controversial film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.

The Australian government launched a $5.5 million immunisation education campaign to counter the views of the anti-vaccination lobby with evidence-based information that parents could easily access.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has repeatedly criticised anti-vaccination advocates, stressing it is clear that vaccination is safe and vital to protect children from sickness.

The national immunisation rate in Australia is 93 percent, but can be as low as 60 percent in some parts of the nation.

- ABC

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