New Zealand medical professionals worried about anti-vax tour

New Zealand medical professionals are worried an anti-vaccination tour coming to Auckland will spread false information to Kiwis.

Australian blogger Taylor Winterstein is selling tickets for $200 each to her 'Making Informed Choices' events. She is touring Australia, New Zealand and Samoa from March until July.

Wife of NRL star Frank Winterstein, she is a self-described 'ex-vaxxer', refusing the title 'anti-vax' despite telling her followers the vaccine industry is a "conspiracy".

Immunisation Advisory Centre spokesperson Theo Brandt said the upcoming event is concerning.

He said these groups use language to make people feel like they belong, but block out differing opinions, which can be dangerous.

"This is a movement that quite clearly takes an anti-vaccine stance, couched in a language of 'a new paradigm shift'. There is much talk of 'building the tribe,' language that we've seen in other groups taking similar positions about vaccines."

He said multiple scientific studies have found vaccines are safe and necessary for the prevention of many conditions.

"There is plenty of pseudo-science and misinterpretations that can be dressed up to look authentic, but the simple fact remains that immunisation is very safe, and is the only way to help avoid serious preventable diseases."

Ms Winterstein said in an Instagram post that the anti-vax argument is also supported scientifically "you just have to dig a bit deeper".

"The truth is on this side and the truth can not stay hidden for long."

Mr Brandt said an issue is that these groups tend to isolate themselves from outside discussion.

"The main issue with such meetings is that they are held in isolation away from the evidence-based information for choosing immunisation.

"[Taylor Winterstein] encourages the 'tribe' to not engage with social media haters, they build a caring and family-centred community that makes those who choose not to vaccinate feel validated and respected."

He said people need to ensure they are not adding to this isolation by further alienating people who engage with anti-vax movements.

"We need to be careful that we keep communication channels open with these groups and do not isolate them, as this is when groups like [Taylor's] can step in."

A recent measles outbreak in Canterbury prompted pleas for parents to ensure their children were immunised as the vaccinations started running low.

Twenty-five cases in the region were confirmed on Monday.

Mr Brandt said the outbreak makes the anti-vax movement even more concerning.

"We need to encourage as many people as we can to get up-to-date with their immunisations. Such a meeting will not only discourage them to do so, but ironically create a situation of more risk, if unimmunised children are present in a large group."