NSW vaccination rates for one year olds reach record levels

Forthe first time ever in NSW, vaccination rates for one-year-olds have soaredpast the coveted 95 per cent herd immunity figure to a record 96.25 per centcoverage.

NSWHealth research has found more than a third of one-year-olds recorded asoverdue for their jabs by the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) were notat all.

Leadresearcher Charlee Law said the surprise findings are great news and will help NSWHealth to better target those children slipping through the vaccination net.

“Vaccinationrates in NSW have been steadily climbing thanks to record investment inimmunisation programs and these results confirm everyone’s hard work,” Ms Lawsaid.

“Thefindings mean the true immunisation coverage for one-year-olds is 2.1 per cent,above what was previously thought and also above the national average of 94 percent.

“Whilethis is fantastic news for the community, what the current national measlesissue shows us is that parents can never be complacent when it comes tovaccination.”

TheAIR considers a child to be fully vaccinated at 12 months of age if they havehad all their required shots that are due at six weeks, four months and sixmonths of age.

Aspart of the study, to be published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal ofPublic Health this month, the vaccination records of more than 400 one-year-oldsin NSW were audited, with 143 incorrectly stating that immunisations were overdue.

NSWHealth’s Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said the findingswill help Federal agencies to identify ways to further improve the AIR.

“Australiahas an internationally recognised immunisation program, so any findings that canimprove information recording and service delivery is a bonus,” Dr Sheppeardsaid.

HealthMinister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has invested $130 million in the2018-19 immunisation program, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

“Thesefindings show the legislative changes implemented by the NSW Government and theinvestment into immunisation programs is paying dividends,” Mr Hazzard said.

NewNSW Government laws came in on 1 January 2018 preventing parents who object tovaccination from enrolling their children in preschools and early childhoodcentres.

Formore information on childhood vaccinations visit:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/app/pages/default.aspx

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/app/Pages/when-to-vaccinate.aspx

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