There are more immunised five-year-old children than any other age population in Australia, with Tasmania racking up the highest rate of vaccinations in the country, new data has revealed.
The national vaccination rate for five year olds from the three months to September was 94.52 per cent, up from 94.42 per cent the previous quarter, according to the Australian Immunisation Register data.
The slight increase has made the childhood immunisation rate for five year olds the highest on record.
Tasmania scored the highest vaccination rate in Australia at 95.55 per cent, with Victoria coming in a close second at 95.48 per cent.
Data shows Australia’s vaccination rate is on track to meet the 95 per cent immunisation coverage target, originally set to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases particularly any measles outbreaks.
The vaccination rates were lower for Queensland (94.46), South Australia (94.44) and the Northern Territory (93.30).
Western Australia had the lowest five-year-old coverage rate of 93.15 per cent.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rise shows most parents are getting the message about the benefits of vaccinations.
But he said it’s not a time for the coalition to rest on its laurels.
“There’s still work to do and we must remain vigilant as there are some areas throughout the country where child vaccination rates are lower than what we would like them to be,” he said.
In regions where the anti-vaccination movement remains fairly strong, some one in 10 children has not been vaccinated or missed a vaccination as part of the National Immunisation Program.
There are many reasons why a child may miss out on a vaccination. It is often linked to socio-economic hardship and logistical barriers.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the data highlights the success of the ‘No Jab, No Play’ policy.
“Immunisation saves lives and protects lives and it is important that we keep the public informed about its benefits.”