The National Health Performance Authority (NPHA) has named Bankstown as one of the suburbs at risk of disease spreading because of low immunisation rates earlier this month.
The Federal Governments ‘no jab no pay’ policy will mean families will stand to lose up to $10,842 per child in childcare benefits and up to $7500 per child for the rebate. Julie Lahood who has a daughter in a local Bankstown preschool is in favour of the policy. “If there were any unvaccinated children in my daughters’ preschool I would take her out immediately. It’s unacceptable and I’m not putting my daughters’ health at risk,” she said.
The ABC website recently released a survey by the Australian Child Health Poll which found “74 per cent of parents believed they should be informed about the number of children not fully vaccinated in their child’s school, kindergarten or childcare centre.” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed to Sky News that he is in favour of a national “no jab, no play” policy that would make vaccinations mandatory for children at preschools and childcare centres.
The ongoing debate was reignited last week surrounding the controversy of an unvaccinated seven-year-old in Northern NSW who is currently in a critical condition after being diagnosed with tetanus. Public Health epidemiologist Dr Zeina Najjar urges parents to keep their children’s vaccines updated. “If you are not immunised you should go to your GP and get the vaccine — and if you are not sure if you are fully immunised go and get it again,” he said.
Health experts say 95 per cent is the rate required to stop an outbreak of disease in the community and with Bankstown currently at a rate of 87.7 per cent it is no surprise parents are outraged.
By: Monica Fainu