Fraser Coast hospitals aim to improve immunisation rate
FRASER Coast hospitals will share in $3 million to improve the region's immunisation rate, with about 5% of children aged 4-5 across the Wide Bay not fully vaccinated.
Queensland Health figures show the Wide Bay's vaccination rate already rose from 93% at the end of the 2012-13 financial year to 94.7% at the end of March 2014.
This compared to a Queensland-wide rate of 92.8% at the end of March.
Wide Bay Health and Hospital Service public health physician and director of public health Dr Margaret Young said the service wanted to close that gap even further.
She said the WBHHS believed the reason only about 2-3% of children who weren't immunised was because their parents objected to vaccines.
Dr Young said the other fraction was a combination of parents unsure about vaccinations or those who just hadn't kept up to date with their child's immunisation schedule.
"They're busy families, or families who have other priorities and overlook vaccinations," she said.
Dr Young said the WBHHS could better address these two groups of parents and already had programs in place such as mailing reminders to parents and supporting GPs.
She said immunisation was a matter not only of the individual's health, but of community health.
"There is no room for complacency," she said.
"This is an incredible time for vaccines."
Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the $3 million of funding would operate as a bonus to local health services to boost vaccination rates.
It will be made available in the next financial year.
Dr Young urged parents with concerns about vaccinations to seek credible information.
Wide Bay full vaccination rates for 4-5 year olds
- 2008-09 82%
- 2009-10 84.1%
- 2010-11 91.2%
- 2011-12 92.1%
- 2012-13 - 93% (compared to 91.5% for Queensland.)
These figures are affected by a change to the second dose of measles, which is now given at age 4 instead of 5.