Vaccination Choice Canada enacted a massive campaign across Toronto last week in an effort to get people to get educated regarding the risks associated with vaccination. Part of this campaign involved massive billboards that included such messages as "Educate before you vaccinate, "What are the risks?" and "How many is too many?" However, after consideration, the billboards have since been removed by the company.
According to the Toronto Sun, Vaccination Choice Canada had aimed for the campaign to run for two weeks across more than 50 billboards. However, the billboard company decided to take down the signage early.
Ontario's health minister, Christine Elliott, has also publicly voiced her opinion on the campaign, stating that the message was "very concerning."
Councilor Joe Cressy, who represents Spadina-Fort York, and is also chair of the city's board of health, called the billboards "deeply disturbing, and potentially dangerous" in a tweet.
"Immunization has saved more children's lives than any other health-care intervention in history," Cressy told CBC Toronto.
"This misinformation campaign is dangerous. I'm deeply concerned."According to their website, Vaccination Choice Canada is urging people to get educated about vaccines due to their belief that immunizations can "damage a child's developing brain and immune system, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma, anaphylactic food allergies, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders." In addition, they believe that vaccines can be linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The medical profession, overall, tends to believe that vaccines do far more good than harm. And, in light of recent measles outbreaks in locations that have low immunization records, the push is currently on to make sure that everyone who can be vaccinated gets vaccinated, not only to curb the outbreaks but to help create herb immunity in order to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.
According to Global News, Vaccination Choice Canada was aiming to "encourage parents to educate themselves on vaccines." However, Toronto Public Health warned that the organization was telling "half-truths" in relation to their claims against vaccination.
As a result of the debate, OutFront Media, the billboard company that was displaying the advertising for Vaccination Choice Canada, has decided to remove the billboards. They have not yet offered a public statement on their decision.
Previously, Joe Cressy had wanted the billboards removed from what he considered to be land that the city owned. However, because the billboards were considered privately owned, there was no way in which the city could pull the advertising themselves.
Currently, Canada has 14 confirmed cases of the measles, 13 in British Columbia and one in Quebec.