20 January 2016

Immunise your children before school starts

The Department of Health is encouraging parents to check that their children’s immunisations are up to date as they prepare for the start of the 2016 school year.

WA Health’s Communicable Disease Control Directorate Medical Coordinator Professor Paul Effler said immunisation was the best way to protect children against serious infections.

“While parents are busy ticking off their back-to-school check list, it is timely to remind them to ensure their children are protected from 16 vaccine preventable diseases,” Professor Effler said.

“Ensuring your child’s immunisations are up to date will keep them protected and help stop the spread of these diseases in the community.”

The childhood immunisation program is free through the National Immunisation Program. Parents should check with their health provider whether a consultation fee is applied, but many providers bulk bill for childhood immunisations.

The Australian Government’s new ‘No Jab No Pay’ policy began on 1 January 2016. This policy affects parents who receive family assistance payments. Children must be fully vaccinated for parents to be eligible to receive family assistance payments.

“In Western Australia 92 per cent of children aged four and over are fully immunised. However at least 95 per cent of children must be fully immunised to effectively prevent outbreaks of highly infectious diseases like measles,” Professor Effler said.

“Parents who are unsure about their child’s immunisation history can visit the Medicare Australia website to get a record of past immunisations.”

To find out where to get immunised, or for more information on immunisation programs and starting school visit Healthy WA (external site).