Footy star's wife cancels anti-vax seminars
An NRL player's wife and anti-vaccination online influencer claims she's been forced to cancel overseas seminars, as health experts issue warnings over her message.
Taylor Winterstein, who is married to Penrith Panthers player Frank Winterstein, has cancelled her Making Informed Choices seminars in New Zealand and Samoa, taking to social media to inform her followers.
She blamed organised groups working hard to sabotage what she does.
But even the World Health Organisation has said the impact of anti-vaccination advocates is "quite concerning".
"Their rhetoric is not supported by science," WHO technical officer Lisa Menning told A Current Affair.
"This risk of back-sliding would lead to disease outbreak. So what we are seeing in recent months has been an increase in measles outbreaks and that's some of our main concerns at the moment."
On Mrs Winterstein's own website, she is described as an integrative nutrition health coach and a "huge self-education advocate and big believer that you do not need a qualification to know how to critically think for yourself".
New Zealand vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris said the type of messages spread in Mrs Winterstein’s meetings presented a public health risk.
"Research has shown us that where you have these kind of activities, you impact vaccine coverage," she said.
The Samoan Observer has even reporters that the country's Ministry of Health CEO Leausa Dr. Take Naseri described the anti-vaccination messaging of Mrs Winterstein's seminar as a "public health threat", saying "one serious, virulent virus can wipe out this population in less than two weeks".
A Current Affair reported on Mrs Winterstein several weeks ago, about a purple powder she sold online called Enzacta PXP.
Experts were concerned claims made by users of the powder were giving people false hope and were not supported by scientific evidence.
The Enzacta powder is no longer available on her website, and she has since removed many of her posts and testimonials about the product.
Infections disease specialist Professor Robert Booy said vaccines today were the safest they ever have been.
"When it comes to scientific knowledge about the safety and the effectiveness of immunisation, for goodness' sake, talk to your GP, don't look at a social influencer," he said.
A Current Affair's request for an interview with Mrs Winterstein was declined.
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