Controversial anti-vaccine film coming to Denver

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 23:04:12-04

A controversial anti-vaccine film that's been banned in other cities is now coming to Denver.

The independent documentary is called "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," and will detail the supposed connection between childhood vaccines and autism. It will be shown at the Esquire Theater in Denver for the first time on Friday and will run through May 12. 

Anti-vaccine supporters have pushed to bring the movie to Denver.

"It's our kids -- injured kids voice to be able to say, 'yeah now, we know what's going on and we're gonna [sic] question [it],'" said Ronnie Prine, whose son had an adverse reaction to a vaccine and who passed away in 2014.

But the head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) calls "Vaxxed" misleading, and worries about the message it sends to parents.

"To me, it's not really a documentary - it's really a work of fiction based an already discredited doctor's work," said CDPHE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk.

"Vaxxed" is directed and co-written by Andrew Wakefield, the author of a 1998 study that suggested the link between childhood vaccines, autism, measles, mumps and rubella. Since then, his findings have been discredited by a plethora of medical scientists. 

"The CDC had known all along there was a MMR autism risk," a trailer for the movie states.

Following criticism, the film was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival and then the Mayor of Houston asked that it not be shown at another film festival there.

"It's not a 'don't vaccinate your kids' type movie, it's more a question mark -- it's more for parents to question whether or not they ask the right questions of their doctor," said Prine.

Dr. Wolk is concerned the film will compel parents to make decisions he said are not based on fact.

"The overwhelming evidence of vaccines -- is [that] they save lives," he said. 


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