19 May 2017

Up-to-date immunisations essential for 2018 school enrolments

The Department of Health is reminding parents who are enrolling their children in school for 2018 to ensure their immunisations are up-to-date.

Enrolments for kindergarten and pre-primary close on 21 July 2017 and, under existing legislation, parents are required to provide their child’s Australian Immunisation Register history statement when enrolling.

WA Health Medical Coordinator Professor Paul Effler urged parents to have their children fully immunised to protect them, and to stop the spread of preventable diseases.

“Infectious diseases can spread quickly in a school environment. For children to stay healthy and reduce the spread of disease it is important to ensure they have completed the full immunisation schedule,” he said.

“Immunisation rates have been rising in Western Australia over recent years, reaching 91.5 per cent this year, but we need to aim for an immunisation rate of 95 per cent for optimal community protection.”

The Childhood Immunisation Program currently includes immunisations against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis, haemophilus influenzae type B disease, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, varicella (chickenpox), meningococcal C disease, influenza and pneumococcal disease.

Professor Effler said that parents in Western Australia could get the childhood vaccines free through the National Immunisation Program – a joint initiative between the State and Commonwealth governments.

“Parents should check with their GP to see if an administration fee applied, but many medical practitioners bulk billed for childhood vaccinations,” he said.

“Parents who are unsure about their child’s vaccination history should visit the Human Services website (external site) to get a record of past vaccinations.”

To find out where you can get vaccinated or for more information on immunisation programs and starting school visit HealthyWA (external site).


ENDS

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