US anti-vaccination activist denied Australian visa

A US author who bills himself as the “world’s number one anti-vaxxer” has been denied a visa to enter Australia for a speaking tour, a minister announced on Thursday.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that anti-vaccination advocate Kent Heckenlively was refused an entry visa under Section 501 of the migration act, which allows the government to refuse or cancel a visa of someone based on their character, reports Xinhua news agency.

Heckenlively had planned to visit Australia to call for a five-year moratorium on childhood vaccinations.

Dutton said Australia was strongly pro-vaccination, and had introduced a “no jab, no pay” policy, whereby new parents are cut off from child welfare payments unless their children are vaccinated.

“These people who are telling parents their kids shouldn’t be vaccinated are dangerous people and we have been very clear in having a look right through this particular case and it is clear to me that it is not in our national interest that he should come here,” the minister said.

Last month, Australia banned anti-vaccination campaigners Polly Tommey from Britain and Suzanne Humphreys from the US from entering Australia for three years.

They had claimed a link between a vaccine and autism, an idea which has been overwhelmingly discredited by science.

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