The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Telegraph are today launching a campaign to stop the rise in the number of children succumbing to preventable diseases because parents are failing to have them fully immunised.
Although only 1.5 per cent of parents are “vaccine refusers” or conscientious objectors, many parents are forgetful, leaving areas of NSW with vaccination rates below 85 per cent – despite the inarguable scientific proof that the vaccination program has saved thousands of lives and eradicated diseases that crippled children just a generation ago, including polio.
…The campaign has two specific aims: first, to demand the NSW government amend the Public Health Act 2010 to allow childcare centres to ban unvaccinated children if they so wish.
Second, for the federal government to close a loophole enabling parents to claim they are “conscientious objectors” to avoid the rule that only vaccinated children are eligible for the 50 per cent childcare rebate.
While the current NSW health minister Jillian Skinner says that they have no plans to toughen laws, there is a firm statement from the health minister at the Federal level, Tanya Plibersek, who:
…has replaced the term “conscientious objectors” in government communications with “vaccine refusers”. There is also a move to make the same change in legislation.
In comparison to the USA which does have some politicians who are anti-vaccination, this is an interesting and public step by the media.
Other articles in the same paper today include: Unvaccinated children risked life of young cancer survivor by Jane Hansen in The Sunday Telegraph:
Maroubra is one of the nine local areas in NSW identified by the National Health Performance Authority as being “at risk” of outbreaks because of vaccination rates of below 85 per cent.
Last year, two unvaccinated children fuelled an outbreak of chicken pox at the centre – just as 14-year-old Jonathon was recovering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which had destroyed his immune system.
Too sick for school, he was recuperating in the centre office – so was at high risk during the outbreak.
…”We’ve had deaths (of cancer patients) from measles and chicken pox because it gets in the lungs and causes severe pneumonia,” Dr Dalla-Pozza said. “If you come into contact with kids on chemo, you put someone else’s life at risk.”
and Surviving a nightmare all parents dread by Daniela Ongaro in The Sunday Telegraph and Happy boy should still be with us by Jane Hansen in The Sunday Telegraph. Massive coverage, a great effort by the news.