Our Government has launched a new ‘Get the Facts about Immunisation’ campaign to encourage Australian parents and carers to get their kids vaccinated.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Member for Wentworth recognises parents want evidence based information to support decision making about childhood vaccinations. The Government is now making it easier to ‘get the facts’ about immunisation.
“Immunisation rates of children in Australia are high, with over 93 per cent of five-year-old children fully vaccinated, and we need to continue to increase rates to as close as 100% as possible. However it is very concerning that there are some areas, including the eastern suburbs where the rate is too low,” Mr Turnbull said.
“In Wentworth, rates are as low as 84.38 per cent. It is these areas of low coverage which pose risks to the community, especially to people who can’t be vaccinated, like newborns and those with medical reasons.”
This new $5.5 million campaign, launched by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on the weekend, will reach parents in these lower coverage areas through child care services and online communication channels, such as social media.
“Research has shown that when people are fully informed about the benefits of vaccination, they are more likely to vaccinate,” Minister Hunt said.
This includes important facts such as:
- Vaccines strengthen your child’s immune system.
- All childhood diseases we vaccinate against can cause serious illness, including death.
- All vaccines available in Australia have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness and are continually monitored.
- Immunisation is a safe and effective way of giving protection against diseases such as whooping cough and measles.
The campaign features families who bravely share their heartbreaking stories of losing their children to vaccine-preventable diseases.
“I met with Toni McCaffery earlier this year, hearing the devastation as she talked of losing her baby Dana, who was only a month old when she died of a whooping cough. Dana was too young to be vaccinated, so like all other newborns, relied on the rest of the community being vaccinated to offer protection. As a father and a grandfather, it was just heartbreaking.” Mr Turnbull said.
The new campaign also features Immunologist and 2006 Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer.
Professor Frazer’s credible, evidence-based information about childhood immunisation is one of the great strengths of this campaign.
“Vaccines work to protect children against being infected by these diseases. A parent will never know when their child may come into contact with someone who has got one of these infections, so the best way to protect children from these diseases, is to make sure they’re fully immunised.” Professor Frazer AC said.
You can find out more information about the campaign by visiting www.immunisationfacts.gov.au.