The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) on Monday warned the public to beware of taking advices and information from the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) website.

The HCCC issued the warning following the AVN's refusal to heed its order to put a disclaimer on its website informing readers that posted information should not be taken as a medical advice. The commission has found through an investigation that the AVN website presented misleading and incorrect information on vaccination and suggested that vaccination is dangerous.

Lennox Head couple Toni and David McCaffery sparked the investigation of AVN after they complained to the HCCC of the network's harassment. They claimed that anti-vaccination campaigners accused them of lying about the cause of their four-week-old daughter's death.

The baby, named Dana, died from whooping cough last year. Soon after, the McCafferys received anonymous letters and emails saying whooping cough was not fatal and vaccination was not needed.

The couple also accused Meryl Dorey, who runs the AVN website, of trying to claim the medical records of Dana from the hospital without their permission.

Aside from the McCafferys, Ken McLeod, a member of a group called Stop the AVN, complained to the HCCC that AVN had claimed that meningococcal disease was harmless and ''hardly kills anybody.'' Dorey had claimed that vaccination was being used to spread AIDS in Third World countries; and homeopathy could take the place of vaccination.