Dangerous anti-virus ads & # 39; in Toronto being overthrown


A number of anti-vaccine ads across the city are being knocked over.

Outfront Media, which owns the billboard space, confirmed to HuffPost Canada on Wednesday afternoon. A spokesman declined to say why ads on more than 50 billboards were withdrawn earlier.

The decision comes after council advisor Joe Cressy, the Toronto health council's chairman, called the ads "dangerous," and said he was talking to the city's legal department asking for advice about its possible removal.

The digital advertisements questioned the safety and the need for the vaccines and were presented on February 21, according to the Facebook page of the group's vice president, Ted Kuntz. The campaign should be two weeks.

The city said that the advertising content on the posters is not imposed by municipal law.

"The purpose of the Toronto signaling law is to allow fair and consistent use of signals," said Ellen Leesti, spokeswoman and municipal licensing. The city ensures that the signs are the right size, installed correctly, do not create traffic risks and do not negatively affect the property nearby.

Vigil: Measles outbreak linked to the anti-vaccination movement. The story continues below

The two-week campaign, featuring four different images and making two million impressions, was paid for by donations made by Canadians who "support the medical ethics of informed consent," Kuntz said in an e-mail.

The ads represented a recent wave of anti-vaccine rhetoric throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, and coinciding with a measles outbreak in Vancouver. Measles is one of the most contagious respiratory infectious diseases and until recently thought to be eradicated in Canada.

In Vancouver, there are 12 confirmed cases, according to the city's public health agency. It all started when an unvaccinated child was infected during a family trip to Vietnam.

Manjurul / Getty Images

Vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.

An advertising campaign like that of Toronto did not happen in Vancouver for the knowledge of the public health authorities.

Kuntz said the term "anti-vaccine" misrepresents Vaccine Choice Canada, which is to inform Canadians about the perceived risks of vaccines. However, scientists and health professionals agree that there is no connection between vaccines and autism, or other diseases.

"Vaccines are very safe, work very well and are necessary to protect the health of individuals and populations," said Dr. Vinita Dubey, assistant health physician at Toronto Public Health. "Immunization saved the lives of more children than any other health intervention. Ads that misrepresent vaccines are not useful to the public or to parents."

Cressy said that public health will continue to advance "with a strong response" against harmful anti-vaccine messages.

"We can not correct misinformation overnight, but considering the deep impacts, we have a fundamental responsibility to correct it," he said.

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