Childhood immunisation rates in north and west Melbourne have jumped over the last year, tracking a nationwide rise that has seen thousands more Australian children get vaccinated over the past five years.
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report shows 93% of Australian five year olds were fully vaccinated in 2015-16, up from just 90% in 2011-12. The North Western Melbourne PHN region was just above the national rate with 93.2% of five year olds fully vaccinated.
NWMPHN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said it was great to see so many more children being protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
“We are closing in the target of 95%, which would give the community comprehensive protection against the most infectious diseases like measles,” A/Prof Carter said.
“Some suburbs are already there, like Strathmore and Williamstown, and we’ve seen big jumps in other areas where rates had been lower.”
But there is still work to do, with rates as low as 85% in some parts of our region, risking outbreaks of serious and potentially fatal diseases like whooping cough, measles and diphtheria.
“These diseases are not relics of the past and they can and will return if we let our standards slip. Vaccination is safe, easy and the most effective method we have to keep these diseases in check and our community safe.”
NWMPHN is promoting the use of the free VaxOnTime app to help busy parents keep on top of their kid’s vaccinations. The app tracks which vaccinations a child has had and sends reminders when their vaccinations are due.
VaxOnTime is designed by the Victorian Government and is available through the Apple and Android app stores.
Parents with questions about immunisation should talk to their GP or maternal and child health nurse, or visit our Immunise Melbourne page for reliable information and personal stories about immunisation.