Initiative to improve vaccination rates welcomed

Initiative to improve vaccination rates welcomed

Thursday 19 November 2015


The Australian Medical Association (WA) today congratulated the State Government for its latest initiative to improve vaccination rates in WA.


“I welcome the moves announced by Health Minister Dr Kim Hames to allow midwives to administer pertussis and influenza vaccinations in antenatal clinics, which have had an immediate impact on vaccination rates,” Dr Gannon said.


“One of the biggest medical breakthroughs in human history has been our ability to protect the community from infectious disease by mass immunisation. More recently studies have shown the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating women during pregnancy, with antibodies crossing the placenta and protecting babies from killer diseases in the first few months of life,” Dr Gannon said.


“After years of very worrying figures showing a drop in vaccination rates in WA, we are now seeing a slight increase. This is good news. But we must, as a society, ensure we do not take our eye off the ultimate aim of 95 per cent.”


It is extremely worrying that in some parts of the state, the overall immunisation rates have fallen to around 65 per cent with some of the worst rates in wealthy areas. This is madness.


”What we want to see is vaccination rates around 95 per cent. When you get to 95 per cent you’ve not only protecting the vast majority of those children that have been vaccinated but you’ve achieved herd immunity, you’ve achieved protection for those people who can’t be vaccinated for proper medical reasons,” Dr Gannon said.


The AMA (WA) has been proud to have worked with the Health Department on a range of key initiatives to improve vaccination rates.


Dr Gannon also criticised the recent comments from Federal MP, Alannah MacTiernan.


“The battle for the health of all Australians, especially our babies and children, is made harder when people who are supposed to be leaders make irresponsible comments,” he said


“I would welcome a meeting with Ms MacTiernan where I could take her through the undeniable facts about immunisation. I would also encourage her to tour a hospital with me, where sadly we could see mothers nervously waiting for their children to recover from potentially fatal vaccine-preventable infections like measles and pertussis,” Dr Gannon said.

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Why I Joined the AMA (WA)...
"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
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