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Bush sticks with immunisation

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

Parents in some of the wealthiest suburbs of Sydney might think that getting their children immunised is not a good thing, but out in the bush it’s a different story.

There they have ignored the discredited scare campaign about it being dangerous and, overall, the number of children being immunised is rising, according to the National Health Performance Authority’s second report on childhood immunisation rates.

The rates of not fully immunised children fell by nearly 2,000 compared to previous years, from 75,002 in 2012-13 compared to 76,769 in 2011-12.

A Far West Local Health District spokesman said rates provided for the Far West Medicare Local area showed improvement.

“Almost 93.8 per cent of children at five years of age are fully immunised - an improvement from 88.1 per cent.

“A similar trend has been seen in Aboriginal children with 94.5 percent fully immunised at five years of age.”

However, there remained room for improvement in vaccinations among children under 12 months of age, he said.

“In this group 86.8 per cent are fully immunised within the recommended timeframe. While this level is quite good, the recommended level for protection across the community is 92 per cent.”

Child and Family Health Services, doctors, Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and the RFDS provide immunisation across the region.

The Far West Local Health District and the Far West Medicare Local work with providers to improve the level of immunisation.

“The number of parents in the Far West who are conscientious objectors is very small,” the spokesman said.

“Most people view vaccinations as essential to protect their children and to help prevent spread of disease within their communities.

“The effectiveness of vaccines is well researched and regularly reviewed. There are excellent safety information resources on vaccines available from your doctor or other health professional.”

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