Children in Moira Shire are now better protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, with the local area hitting the ambitious herd immunity target of 95 per cent, its best immunisation coverage in history.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp recently announced the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that show 97.73 per cent of five-year-olds in Moira Shire are now fully immunised.
‘‘These are more than just statistics. This is about protecting kids in Moira Shire from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases,’’ Mr Gepp said.
Since the introduction of the Victorian Government’s tough No Jab No Play laws, there has been a consistent increase in immunisation rates for Victorian children.
Victoria’s immunisation rate has risen from 93 per cent in 2016, and at 95.3 per cent is the third highest rate in Australia behind Tasmania and the ACT. The national rate is 94.5 per cent.
The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.
High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.
Recent changes mean only immunisation history statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation or of medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling a child in childcare or kindergarten.
This reduces the risk of potentially false vaccination exemptions being written up. These put community health and safety at risk and will no longer be accepted for enrolment into early childhood facilities.
The changes also help simplify the enrolment process for early childhood providers.