01 March 2016

Don't let your Year 8 miss free immunisations

WA Health is reminding parents of Year 8 students to sign and return their immunisation consent form to ensure that their child does not miss out on the free immunisation program offered through secondary schools. 

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 last month. Students will not receive a vaccine if the consent form is not signed. 

The Department of Health’s Medical Coordinator Communicable Disease Control, Professor Paul Effler 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,” Professor Effler said. 

The Year 8 statewide vaccination program includes the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls and boys to defend against cervical cancer, as well as a booster dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The chickenpox vaccine is also optional for students who did not receive the vaccine as a child, or who have not had the disease. Vaccines are 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,” Professor Effler said. 

“Nearly 87 per cent of parents consented to their children having the immunisations last year, a slight improvement on previous years; however we need to aim for 95 per cent for optimal community protection. 

“It is also important to complete the full immunisation 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 get vaccinated.”

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)

ENDS

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