Vaccination Policy: Some 142,000 Families Won't Get Child Care Benefits For Not Immunizing Their Kids In This Country

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald February 20, 04:00 am
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A year after Australia enforced its "no jab, no pay" policy for child care benefits, the rate of vaccinated kids increased but experts said this is not enough.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Some 142,000 families won't likely get their child care benefits if they will refuse to vaccinate their kids. This "no jab, no pay policy" is being pushed by the federal government in Australia in an effort to reduce the rising number of parents who are choosing to go unvaccinated.

According to 9 News, the policy was actually introduced in January 2016. It has once again become controversial, however, as the first data from the said initiative has finally been released. Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed that since enforcing the policy, 200,000 children received their vaccinations and Australia's average rate of immunization rose to 92.2 percent across the country.

Not everything is good news, though, as there are still regions whose parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, such as Adelaide and Gold Coast. In Sydney, one of Australia's more progressive places, only 88.9 percent of children below five have been vaccinated in the last year. The government is aiming to get this rate higher, if not a perfect rate.

According to SBS, 5.5. percent or 142,000 families will not be qualified to receive child care payments because of this. The problem, however, isn't solely based on the parents' decision as 6.2 percent of kids were not able to get vaccinated because either the parents forgot to make appointments with doctors or there is no adequate access to vaccination.

Most of these families are migrants or refugees, whose previously vaccination are not on record so they don't know what their kids need. This complex issue also prevents these families from registering their vaccinations with the Australian Childhood Immunization Register. The cost for of vaccination is also a hindrance for some families.

Pediatricians in the country said while the "no jab, no policy" on its first year shows promise and good results, policy-makers must consider the financial and social status of families to improve on this initiative. Experts believe there is still a lot more that can be done to ensure this public health issue is properly addressed and beneficial for all.

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