An anti-vaccination billboard outside of Syracuse.

Learn The Risk

Doctors say upstate billboard sends a deadly message

October 04, 2018 - 1:34 pm
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SYRACUSE, NY (1010 WINS) -- A billboard outside of Syracuse is drawing criticism from groups who call its message 'dangerous.'

The sign on I-690 tells motorists that 'Vaccines Can Kill' it features a picture of Nicholas Catone -- the son of retired MMA fighter Nick Catone, and his wife Marjorie Madison-Catone, a registered nurse.

Catone was just 20-months-old when he died last year after receiving the DTaP vaccination, which immunizes children under 7 from diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.

A doctor told Syracuse.com that the message is wrong, and could get people hurt.

"Not vaccinating is a dangerous and possibly deadly choice," Dr. Jana Shaw of Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital said.

The billboard was put up by 'Learn The Risk' a group that claims side effects and deaths caused by vaccines are underreported. The group's website also claims that vaccines cause autism, and that the seasonal flu shot is "one of the most dangerous vaccines on the market."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagrees saying most vaccine side effects ae mild and can protect children from potentially deadly diseases.

Syracuse.com reports that a study found a measles outbreak in 2014 and 2015, was prompted by low vaccination rates in southern California.

"Whereas measles was thought to have been eliminated from the US in 2000, we have seen local outbreaks of this vaccine-preventable disease and others ... like pertussis (whooping cough), in recent years due to inadequate immunization coverage in schools," says the study published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLOS Medicine.

The billboard has also appeared in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.