Murrumbidgee childhood immunisation rates highest in Australia

Children in the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network region have the highest rates of full immunisation in Australia according to the National Health Performance Authority’s Healthy Communities Report: Immunisation Rates for Children 2014-15 released today.

Measures are reported on the percentage of children fully immunised with 93.6% fully immunised at one year, 92.3% fully immunised at 2 years and 95.6 fully immunised at 5 years. Murrumbidgee topped the country for all three cohorts.

Murrumbidgee also made significant improvements in the overall percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children fully immunised with 92.6% at one year, 87.9% at two years and 96.0% at 5 years. This places Murrumbidgee second highest in the country, just behind the ACT.

Nancye Piercy, CEO of Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, said the immunisation support team had been working with targeted practices within the region, facilitating access to regular Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) reports and assisting with the implementation of recall and reminder systems.

“We’ve had great success with ‘birthday’ vaccination reminders sent out to parents; because when you’re a busy mum and dad it’s very easy to forget”, Ms Piercy said.

“We are ecstatic with these results. This achievement clearly demonstrates the strong working relationship our team has with local GPs and Murrumbidgee Local Health District.”

Chief health officers across the country have agreed to a target of 95 per cent childhood immunisation in order to achieve ‘herd immunity’ – meaning the small minority of people who can’t be vaccinated for a range of valid medical reasons, or for whom vaccination has not been fully effective, are still protected because there is less disease circulating.

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Cristy Houghton