Immunisation reminder for first-time parents

Becoming a new parent can be demanding and comes with many new responsibilities – including booking your child’s first immunisation session.

Families in Maroondah can access vaccines at no cost to protect babies and children against infectious diseases during their most vulnerable years of life.

Councillor Tasa Damante said every new parent in Maroondah received an information pack from Council’s Maternal and Child Health Centre outlining everything they needed to know about immunisation for their child.

“The packs are given to new parents before their six-week immunisation appointment so that they have all the information available about the immunisation process and can prepare questions before the vaccination is due,” Cr Damante said.

“For first-time parents, immunisation can be a daunting exercise. So, it is important that parents are fully informed about the process and the benefits for their child and our broader community,” she said.

Council offers free, monthly immunisation sessions at nine locations across Maroondah as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Bookings for these sessions, which cover immunisations for babies and children aged between six weeks and four years, can now be made online

Latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (1 July 2018 to 30 June) 2019) shows 94.55 per cent of one-year-olds (12-15 months) in Maroondah are now fully immunised, with vaccination rates just below the state average (94.65%) and above the national average (94.20%).

Maroondah immunisation rates for children aged two years (24-27 months) were recorded at 92.58 per cent – higher than both the state (91.95%) and national (91.37%) averages.

Children aged five years (60-63 months) also had a higher coverage rate in Maroondah, at 96.54%, when compared to the state average (95.67%) and national average (94.85%).

Cr Damante said that while these figures are encouraging, we as a community cannot afford to become complacent.

“We must continue to strive for higher participation rates in order to safeguard and ensure that our community is fully protected from preventable diseases,” she said.

“Immunisation is the best defence against the return of highly contagious diseases, such as polio, measles, rubella and whooping cough, which has sadly shown a resurgence in recent years.

“Whooping cough (pertussis) is a serious, contagious, respiratory infection and is particularly dangerous for babies less than six months of age who are more likely to develop complications. Sadly, one in every 200 babies who contract whooping cough will die. Immunisation is the best way to reduce the risk of whooping cough.

“For these reasons, it is important for women planning a pregnancy, new parents, grandparents and people working with young children to have an adult Boostrix vaccine (pertussis combined with diphtheria and tetanus).

“The number of diagnosed measles cases has also increased in recent years due to unvaccinated people travelling to countries where measles is prevalent and unknowingly bringing the infection back to Australia.

“By maintaining high rates of immunisation, we protect our community, including vulnerable people who because of age, health conditions, or other factors, may not be able to be vaccinated.

“And parents can feel confident of a safe and effective immunisation service knowing that Council is fully accredited in compliance with AS/NZS ISO 9001 Quality Standards,” Cr Damante said.

For a full list of venues, session times and to make a booking online, see Council’s Immunisation Program 2019 or call 1300 88 22 33.

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