Facebook is facing pressure to block anti-vaccination pages and groups that are spreading misinformation, The Guardian reports. The “anti-vaxxers” reportedly operate in closed groups, some of which tout the benefits of other “natural” remedies to replace vaccines. One closed group, called Vitamin C & Orthomolecular Medicine for Optimal Health, reportedly states that it is “neutral” on the vaccine topic, but some of the group’s 49,000 members have discussed the use of vitamin C to protect against measles and other illnesses. The leader of the group, Katie Gironda, reportedly sells her own high-dose vitamin C products in the group—charging over $400 for 24-pound bags of vitamin C powder.
Spokeswoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, told the newspaper that Facebook needs to do more. “Parents deserve the truth,” she said. “If they are being served up something that is not true it will likely increase their levels of anxiety and fear and potentially change their uptake of vaccines, which is dangerous.” Facebook reportedly did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment on the anti-vaxx groups. This comes after Washington state imposed a state of emergency last month after 48 people contracted measles.