The Department of Health has released the latest data on childhood immunisation coverage by Primary Health Network (PHN), revealing Western Victoria PHN continues to lead the nation in childhood immunisation rates.
Western Victoria PHN leads the nation for children aged 12 to 15 months and 24 to 27 months with 96.62 per cent and 94.71 per cent respectively of children in the region being fully immunised, September data reveals.
This is an increase on the March 2019 data of which 96.08 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 months and 93.90 per cent of children aged 24 to 27 months in the region were fully immunised.
Western Victoria PHN has also recorded the second highest rate in Australia with 97.17 per cent of children fully immunised between the ages of 60 and 63 months, up from 97.11 per cent in March 2019.
Routine childhood immunisations help to protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal ACWY disease, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), rotavirus, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) and influenza.
Western Victoria PHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Leanne Beagley, said having your child immunised helps to protect them from the most serious childhood infections and is a requirement by law that immunisations are up-to-date before your child starts childcare and kindergarten, which includes the National No Jab No Pay and Victorian No Jab No Play policies.
“It’s great to have a high rate of childhood vaccinations recorded for the western Victoria region as we know a high number of our children are protected against serious diseases, which can be life threatening,” Dr Beagley said.
“The high rate of immunisations in our region is a result of our hardworking healthcare providers, GPs and nurse immunisers who have been supported by Western Victoria PHN immunisation consultants and practice facilitators.
“As a PHN, we work closely with immunisation providers including primary care and local councils to ensure timely vaccination of children and provide accurate and timely data to the Australian Immunisation Register.
“Western Victoria PHN also has an immunisation program which aims to educate, support and assist providers on all aspects of immunisation. We focus on childhood immunisation to enhance local rates and work to provide quality services.”
The Western Victoria PHN Immunisation Program includes:
- Professional development for immunisation program staff
- Education and support with Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) registration, reporting processes and data transfer
- Immunisation information via HealthPathways and newsletters
- Annual immunisation forums
Families can find out further information on childhood vaccination by speaking with their GP or maternal and child health nurses. To find your closest GP, visit: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services