Immunisation keeps children healthy and safe

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The Andrews Labor Government launched recently a new campaign to highlight the benefits of immunisation for individuals and the community.

“We know vaccinations save lives. That’s why we’ve launched this new campaign because we want to ensure as many children as possible are immunised against serious and life-threatening illnesses,” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said during the launch.

Coinciding with World Immunisation Week (24-30 April), Immunity for Community features videos of everyday Victorians whose personal experiences reinforce the potentially lifesaving benefits of immunisation to not only individuals but the community as a whole.

Currently, around 93 per cent of Victorian children under five are fully vaccinated, according to new figures released by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

While these high levels of protection are encouraging, more needs to be done to reach 95 per cent coverage necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.

Sadly there are also still parts of the state where immunisation rates are far too low.

For example, in the City of Melbourne, the percentage of children under five who are fully vaccinated is around 89 per cent, while in the City of Port Phillip it is only 86 per cent.

That’s why we have introduced our tough new No Jabs, No Play law, which requires all Victorian children to be fully vaccinated to attend childcare and kindergarten.

We have also released a new app, VaxonTime to help busy parents keep track of when their child’s immunisations are due.

“Immunisation is everyone’s responsibility and there is no excuse for not immunising your child,” the Minister said.

We know that an estimated 20 per cent of parents forget when their child are due for a vaccination, particularly as vaccines become more spread out. ““Immunising your child not only protects you and your family, but other children in the community,” Minister Hennessy added.

The Immunity for Community campaign aims to remind parents of the importance of vaccinating their children, and to encourage those with questions on concerns to get advice from a medically qualified source such as their GP.

The first video, in the series of five, goes live today through multiple online channels including Facebook FacebookInstagram and Twitter and shares the story of Sonny, a six month old who can’t be immunised for medical reasons.

For more information on immunisation or to download the Vax On Time Time app, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

 

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