CHILD immunisation rates in Baw Baw are the highest of all Gippsland councils, according to statistics in the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register Coverage Report.
Above: Child (60-<63 months) full immunisation rates: 30 September 2014.
First published in the 27 March 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Just over 96 per cent of children aged between 60 and 63 months in Baw Baw have been fully immunised.
The figure is above the goal minimum set by Victoria’s chief health officer Dr Rosemary Lester of 95 per cent.
The statistics are an important measure of the community’s resistance to diseases like pneumonia, polio, hepatitis, and other nasty bugs.
High immunisation rates also indicate a new law to be introduced by the state government banning children from childcare centres if their immunisations are not up-to-date may be introduced in Baw Baw relatively seamlessly.
UPDATE FOR WEB VERSION: The federal government has also announced a policy to cut childcare rebates to parents who do not immunise their kids.
The Herald Sun has reported the policy will be introduced in 2016 following continuing consultations with New South Wales officials. NSW introduced a similar policy last year.
That paper also found immunisation rates in some local government areas have dropped “well below 90 per cent.”
The lowest rate in Gippsland was Bass Coast Shire, at 90.1 per cent fully immunised.
Latrobe City was the only other Gippsland council to exceed Dr Lester’s minimum target, with Wellington just over 1.5 per cent behind the recommendation.
In East Gippsland, 92.17 per cent of children are fully immunised, while in South Gippsland that rate is 91.89 per cent.
Gippsland’s average immunisation rate was 93.86 per cent
In Baw Baw, the number of children in the 60-63 months age bracket covered by the immunisation register report as at 30 September last year was 165 children.
That was the second highest number in Gippsland, second to Latrobe City’s 238 and ahead of Wellington’s 137.
Historical information on immunisation rates in Baw Baw over the last decade were not available.
The statistics suggest parents who choose not to vaccinate choose to avoid all vaccinations, not just some. There is little difference between how many children have taken each jab, suggesting it is the same children receiving all the vaccinations.
Those statistics are similar across all Gippsland local government areas.
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