Is this the law Queensland needs in order to protect children from deathly and contagious diseases such as whooping cough? Have your say here.
Victoria has taken a step forward in the battle to protect their children’s health and now the next question is – will Queensland follow suit?
Victoria is set to follow in New South Wales’s footsteps and implement “no jab, no play” laws to restrict unvaccinated children from using childcare centres. NSW introduced the policy in late 2014, which states that children who are not fully immunised are unable to enrol in childcare unless they have an approved exemption for a medical reason or their parents have a conscientious objection.
In order to get an exemption, parents must receive counselling from a medical practitioner and state that they have been advised of the risks of not immunising their child.
While Queensland has yet to follow suit and implement the ‘no jab, no play’ law, Queensland Health have been pushing out their Vaccination-Facts Matter campaign in a bid to get Queensland parents to immunize their children.
According to Queensland Health, more than 15,000 one, two and five year olds aren’t fully vaccinated and immunization rates for 12-month-olds fell from over 92 per cent in 2011 to below 91 per cent in 2013. Only 86 per cent of 12 month old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are fully vaccinated – and face a higher risk of contracting serious and life threatening vaccine preventable diseases.
About one third of adults who catch measles are hospitalized and in 2013, Queensland had their worst outbreak in 15 years with 52 cases notified to Queensland Health. Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be deadly, particularly for newborn babies too young to be vaccinated. Between the years 2000 and 2013, six Queensland babies died from whooping cough and in 2011, an unvaccinated adult died from diphtheria.
Many Queensland parents choose not to immunize their children because they believe the vaccines are dangerous and will cause autism, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, asthma, allergies or will compromise a child’s immune system. Queensland Health states that these claims are false and that only conventional vaccination produces a measurable immune response and protection against disease.
Alternative therapies such as homeopathic methods or chiropractic principles are not proven to protect against infectious diseases. Vaccines are rigorously tested in thousands of people in progressively larger clinical trials which are monitored for safety. In Australia, every vaccine must pass stringent safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register it for use. Once registered, the TGA coordinates very robust surveillance to detect any possible safety issues with the vaccine.
Last year, Queensland doctors demanded the introduction of ‘no jab, no play’ reforms in Queensland to give childcare centres the power to ban unvaccinated children, but so far the law has not come into play.
Do you believe in vaccination? Do you think Queensland should adopt the ‘no jab, no play” rule? Let us know in the comments.