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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Most West Australian parents have done the right thing on immunisation, but more work needs to be done in certain suburbs, AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said today.
The comment comes after the latest report on immunisation rates for children was released today by the National Health Performance Authority.
“The report contains both very good and very worrying news for parents, with some age groups seeing a drop in immunisation rates. The good news however is that there appears to be a general upward trend in WA,” Dr Choong said.
“We are particularly worried about the one-year old age group, which has some disconcerting statistics, including the revelation that 22 catchment areas in WA have immunisation rates that are below 85 per cent. This is a huge jump from the 13 catchment areas listed in the last report.
“However, there has been significant improvement in immunisation rates for five-year olds, while the rates for two-year olds have pretty much stayed the same,” he said.
“As always, more can be done to boost immunisation rates in WA. This year’s influenza season is expected to be particularly bad, so we urge parents to vaccinate their children as soon as possible.
Dr Choong said that the safety of all West Australian children needed to be a priority, and although it might be difficult to find the time to see your local GP, it remained vital that all West Australian children were protected as soon as possible.
“Now is the best time to have your children and yourself immunised. This is an important issue and parents must ensure that they play their part in making Australia a safe and healthy nation,” he added.
“Vaccination sceptics have spread misinformation on this matter for years, and unfortunately it’s beginning to have an impact. We have seen a return of serious infectious diseases thought to be eradicated make a return in a number of developed countries.
“If you have any concerns regarding immunisation, don’t rely on misinformation on the internet to make a judgement, talk to your local GP instead.”
“After all, the right of children to be healthy should always trump a parent’s right to make the wrong decision,” Dr Choong said.