Australia Witnesses Record-Breaking Child Immunisation Rates
Five-year-olds are now better protected than ever before.
According to new data from the Australian Immunisation Register, five-year-old children are now more immunised than ever before.
The most recent quarter saw vaccination coverage for five-year-olds hit 94.6% nationwide, up from 94.42% the previous quarter.
Ahead of the average five-year-old vaccination curve is Tasmania and Victoria, as both states now record rates of 95.55% and 95.48%, respectively. In third place was the Australian Capital Territory at 94.80%, followed by New South Wales at 94.56%, Queensland at 94.46%, South Australia at 94.44%, and the Northern Territory at 93.30%. The state with the worst five-year-old coverage rate was Western Australia at 93.15%.
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"The latest figures show that the vast majority of parents are hearing the message about the benefits of vaccinations and I am delighted that our public health campaigns and our immunisation programs are protecting all Australians,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced, before claiming Australia must not now take a half-hearted approach or relax efforts.
"There's still work to do and we must remain vigilant as there are some areas throughout the country where child vaccination rates are lower than what we would like them to be," he told SBS. "Immunisation saves lives and protects lives and it is important that we keep the public informed about its benefits."
While the latest figures show Australia is predominantly on target to achieve the nations 95% immunisation objective, areas with significantly less vaccination coverage remain. Strong anti-vaccination movements are alive and well in pockets throughout the nation. Just 83.1% of children aged 12 months to 15 months are fully vaccinated in the Richmond Valley, an area on the far north coast of New South Wales.
Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced the latest data reveals “parents are generally listening to the experts and the science – and ignoring those who tout misinformation that puts kids at risk.”
This overall high coverage, she stated, will protect those who may not be able to protect themselves and get vaccinated, like newborn babies and people with compromised immune systems.
"Immunisation is safe, effective, and it saves lives,” she announced. “We’re so glad that more parents than ever before are taking heed of the message and keeping their kids safe.”