The north coast’s low vaccination rates for one, two and five year-olds is a concern for NSW Labor Walt Secord, after the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released data today (June 8) on national vaccination rates in 2015-16.
Sydney’s northern beaches also score a low rate of vaccination.
He says the latest data shows the Berejiklian government ‘has to renew efforts to increase life-saving vaccination rates in NSW.’
On a positive note, Secord says childhood immunisation rates have improved nationally.
Secord says he has legislation before the NSW Parliament: the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination of Children Attending Childcare Facilities) Bill 2017. It is set to be debated on June 22.
He says the centrepiece of the legislation is the removal of the so-called ‘conscientious objector’ provisions which have been used as a loophole by anti-vaxxers.
‘The bill will carry a maximum penalty of $5,500 for a principal or operator of a service and a family day care enrolling a child without a vaccination certificate or a certificate exempting them on medical grounds.’
‘However, it will retain a specialist provision for children who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition such as cancer treatment.
‘In recent months, there have been reports of patients presenting to NSW hospitals with vaccine preventable diseases like tetanus, whooping cough and measles.
‘To have herd immunity, vaccination rates have to be above 95 per cent to protect those who cannot be vaccinated.’
Public health achievement
Vaccinations are one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.”
‘Vaccinations have saved millions of lives in the developed and developing world. Mothers in the developing world line-up for hours to protect their children, but we have mothers in Byron and Mullumbimby who put their own children and other children at risk. That is wrong.”
‘No one has the right to infect their own child or someone else’s child. Failing to vaccinate a child is irresponsible.”
‘Sadly, we are experiencing the re-appearance of diseases which we believed were eradicated. Measles and whooping cough outbreaks have been reported on the north coast.’