Australia

Immunisation in focus as school enrolment deadline approaches

Parents of children starting school in 2019 are being urged to ensure their children are full immunised.

The plea comes as the deadline for school enrolments approaches.

Department of Health medical adviser Professor Paul Effler said infectious diseases were capable of spreading quickly in the school environment.

He said to keep children healthy it was vital they stayed up to date with their vaccinations.

“It is a legislative requirement that a childs Australian Immunisation Register history is provided at enrolment into public school and most private schools also collect this information,” he said.

“The looming July 20 enrolment deadline for kindergarten and pre-primary makes this an opportune time to check your childs immunisation status.”

According to the Department of Healths Australian Immunisation Register Coverage Report from April 2017 to March 2018, the Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton region has one of the lowest coverage rates in WA.

The data shows the percentage of children immunised against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, pneumococcal, varicella and meningococcal C.

The report also shows the percentage of children that are fully immunised at age 12 months, 24 months and five years of age according to the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

For children aged 12 to 15 months, 90.48 per cent are fully vaccinated in Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton.

Only Fremantle, Mundaring and South Perth have lower percentages.

In the 24 to 27 month category, Manjimup has the lowest percentage at 83.9 per cent, followed closely by Mundaring on 84.51 per cent and Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton on 84.97 per cent.

Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton has the lowest percentage in regional WA for five-year-olds with 89.76 per cent fully vaccinated.

Several metropolitan suburbs have a similar figure and it is Belmont-Victoria Park which has the lowest coverage rate with 86.97 per cent of children who are fully vaccinated.

Professor Effler said immunisation rates had been rising in recent years in WA, reaching 93 per cent in 2017 for children assessed at 12 months and 5 years of age.

“This is really encouraging, but for optimal community protection we are striving for 95 per cent,” he said.

Professor Effler said childhood vaccinations through the National Immunisation Program were free, however parents were advised to check with their GP to see if an administration fee would be charged.

For information on where to get vaccinated and starting school, visit Visit HealthyWA.

This story Immunisation in focus as school enrolment deadline approaches first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.

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