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Billboard company removes anti-vaccine ads in Toronto amid criticism

Click to play video: 'Billboards that question safety of vaccinations removed Wednesday' Billboards that question safety of vaccinations removed Wednesday
WATCH ABOVE: A series of digital billboards telling people to educate themselves before receiving vaccinations have been removed. Erica Vella reveals the messages and why it's coming under fire from politicians and healthcare providers – Feb 27, 2019

A spokesperson for OutFront Media, the advertising company that ran anti-vaccine advertisements, told Global News the ads have been removed from the company’s billboards.

Vaccination Choice Canada, a group that urges people to get educated about the risks of immunizations, launched a massive ad campaign across Toronto on Thursday. Four messages were set to rotate over more than 50 digital billboards for two weeks.

READ MORE: YouTube pulls ads from channels pushing anti-vaccination content

The ads were displayed in prominent locations around Toronto and included messages such as, “Educate before you vaccinate,” “What are the risks?” and “How many is too many?”

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott openly disagreed with the messaging promoted by Vaccination Choice Canada and urged Toronto residents to be wary of vaccinations is “very concerning.”

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Elliott said there’s a lot of public misinformation about vaccinations, adding the government will continue to urge people to be vaccinated against a variety of conditions.

READ MORE: ‘This is a serious disease’: Why we should worry that measles is making a comeback

A spokesman for the group behind the campaign said the campaign is meant to encourage parents to educate themselves on vaccines, but Toronto Public Health described the blitz as based around “half-truths.”

With files from Gabby Rodrigues and Erica Vella.

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