Debunked anti-vaccine film to screen in Auckland

A controversial anti-vaccination film premiering in Auckland today is being denounced for spreading false information.

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe will premiere on Sunday afternoon at a yet-to-be-disclosed location in west Auckland, followed by screenings throughout the country.

Auckland University's Immunisation Research director Helen Petousis Harris says the film is based on long-debunked research.

"It's always frustrating when movements get very loud and they're actually disseminating a lot of material that is outright false, that could potentially do a lot of damage," she told Newshub.

"These sorts of myths can result in drops in coverage, and we're now seeing resurgence of disease. People have died as a result globally because of this."

The screening's organiser Tracey Livingston insists the film shows the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is dangerous.

"We'd like full informed consent - we should only have safe vaccines in New Zealand. These vaccines have been shown to be unsafe," she told Newshub.

"We think that actually, the risk to benefit ratio is completely off. If we only had safe vaccines, that would make more sense."

Sunday is World Autism Awareness Day. To mark the occasion, the White House will turn blue - despite US President Donald Trump's previous claims vaccines are behind autism.

There is no scientific evidence at all vaccines cause autism. The claims originate from a fraudulent research paper published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield, the director of Vaxxed.

It was later discovered Mr Wakefield had manipulated evidence and had various conflicts of interest. He was later struck off the medical register.

His fraud was described as "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years" in a 2011 journal article.