25 February 2015

Don't let your Year 8 student miss free vaccinations

Parents of Year 8 students are being reminded by WA Health to sign and return their vaccination consent form to ensure that their child does not miss out on the free program.

Western Australian Year 8 students are being offered booster doses of important childhood vaccines this year to ensure they are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases into adulthood.

The consent form was contained in an information pack sent home with Year 8 students in February. Students will not receive a vaccine if the consent form is not signed.       

The Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Public Health Physician, Dr Donna Mak urged those parents who had not yet signed and returned the form to do so.

“If you haven’t seen the information pack yet it might be worth asking your child to have a look in their school bag for it. If it can’t be found, get in touch with your school for a replacement,” she said.

The Year 8 statewide vaccination program, which includes the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls and boys to defend against cervical cancer, as well as a booster dose of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and chickenpox vaccine, is available free to every Year 8 student whose parents have signed the appropriate consent form.

“One of the most common reasons that people do not have their children immunised is simply that they forget or miss the consent form in their child’s bag,” Dr Mak said.

“While 85 per cent of parents consented to their children having the vaccinations last year, we need to aim for 95 per cent for optimal community protection.

“It’s also important to complete the full vaccination schedule. If your child misses out on one of the offered vaccine doses during the year, you should visit your GP or immunisation provider to complete their vaccinations and make sure your child is protected.”

A video with more information about the school-based immunisations can be found in the Healthy Living section on the Healthy WA website (external site).

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