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Science clears up myths surrounding immunisation

'The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers' attempts to explain the latest immunology science in "accessible language".
'The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers' attempts to explain the latest immunology science in "accessible language".

AUSTRALIA'S leading immunologists have banded together to debunk the "common myths" surrounding the vexed issue of immunisation.

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers has been published by the Australian Academy of Science and was released in Sydney on Monday.

A national panel of experts in the field compiled the booklet, which was funded by the Federal Government, in response to "confusion created by contradictory information" about immunisation.

It attempts to explain the latest immunology science in "accessible language".

Based on a series of key questions, the publication aims to increase awareness of the science on which public and personal health policy decisions responses should be based.

Launching the booklet on Monday, AAS president Professor Suzanne Cory urged all parents to use it when making decisions about their children's health.

"The academy is strongly committed to ensuring that every Australian has the opportunity to understand scientific issues and base their decisions on the best available evidence," Prof Cory said.

"That's why we brought together some of the best researchers in the field in Australia to develop a document written as simply as possible, and which is thorough and scientifically rigorous.

The booklet was prepared by a working group overseen by Professor Tony Basten and Professor Ian Frazer, and an oversight committee chaired by Sir Gus Nossal.

Some of the questions addressed in the booklet include: what is immunisation?, what is in a vaccine?, who benefits from vaccines?, are vaccines safe?, how are vaccines shown to be safe?, and what does the future hold for vaccination?

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers is available at science.org.au/immunisation.html.

Topics:  health, immunisation, research, science, vaccine



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