A new immunisation campaign is underway to encourage parents and carers to get their children vaccinated, particularly in areas where immunisation rates are low, such as the far north.
Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald although immunisation rates are generally high, with over 93 per cent of five year olds fully vaccinated, there are some areas across the north, such as Kuranda outside Cairns, where the rate is too low.
“Some areas like Kuranda have immunisation rates as low as 72% for two year olds, and 86% for one year old children,” Senator Macdonald said.
“It’s these areas of lower coverage which pose risks to the community, especially to people who can’t be vaccinated, like newborns and those with medical reasons.”
Senator Macdonald said parents want evidence based information to support decisions about childhood vaccinations.
“This campaign is all about making it easier to get the facts, as research shows that when people are fully informed about the benefits, they are more likely to vaccinate,” Senator Macdonald said.
The campaign includes important facts such as:
- Vaccines strengthen your child’s immune system
- All childhood diseases we vaccinate against can cause serious illness, including death
- All vaccines available in Australia have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness and are continually monitored
- Immunisation is a safe and effective way of giving protection against diseases such as whooping cough and measles.
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the $5.5million campaign will reach parents in areas such as Kuranda in the far north, through child care services and online communication channels, such as social media.
You can find out more information about the campaign by visiting www.immunisationfacts.gov.au