Tougher measures vital in vaccination fight: AMA (WA)

Tougher measures vital in vaccination fight: AMA (WA)

Thursday 21 August 2014


Governments at all levels need to look for newer and tougher ways to ensure that people vaccinate their children to protect them and the rest of the community from disease, the AMA (WA) said today.


“Neglecting to vaccinate your children might be compared to child abuse,” AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said.


“It is time to get tough on this vital issue. Not to do so is to put our population at risk,” he said.


“To look at the map of Perth overlaid with immunisation rates is to look at a map of shame. As a medical practitioner with a young family I am fearful of just what could happen if we don’t get the immunisation rate back to more acceptable levels, and then aim for 95 per cent,” he said.


“There were four reported cases of measles in WA last year. This year so far we have seen 33 cases, Dr Gannon said.


“It is still only August and we have already seen 33 cases. This is frightening. People have forgotten how dangerous these diseases are, the damage they can cause and how quickly they can sweep through the community if allowed to gain a foothold.”


“Incredibly some of our wealthiest suburbs have the lowest vaccination rates. These areas should be leading, not lagging.


“To ensure herd immunity, 95 per cent is necessary. Some parts of Perth have immunisation rates as low as 63 per cent. This is a disgrace,” Dr Gannon said.

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"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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