Victorian kids are now better protected against vaccine-preventable diseases with the state hitting the ambitious herd immunity target of 95 per cent – its best immunisation coverage in history.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews and Victoria Minister for Health Jill Hennessy visited the Royal Children’s Hospital to announce the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that show 95.3 per cent of five-year-olds are now fully immunised in Victoria.
Since the introduction of the Victorian Government’s tough No Jab No Play laws, there has been a consistent increase in immunisation rates for Victorian children.
Victoria’s immunisation rate has risen from 93 per cent in 2016, and at 95.3 per cent is the third highest rate in Australia behind the smaller jurisdictions of Tasmania and the ACT – across Australia the rate is 94.5 per cent.
The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.
The Government takes a strong approach to vaccination – we brought back the free whooping cough vaccination program for mums and dads in 2015, to protect our youngest Victorians from the deadly disease.
These record vaccination rates come as changes to strengthen No Jab No Play laws even further are in the Parliament.
These changes will mean only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation and as evidence of medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling a child in childcare or kindergarten – no other document will be accepted.
This reduces the risk of potentially false vaccination exemptions being written up – which put community health and safety at risk – and will no longer be accepted for enrolment into early childhood facilities. These changes also help simplify the enrolment process for early childhood providers.
Source: Vic Government