Immunisation rates for children aged between 60 and 63 months has increased in a number of shires in central Victoria.
Figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register show Mount Alexander (92.2 per cent), Gannawarra (100 per cent), Campaspe (98.4 per cent) and Loddon (95.2 per cent) shire all recorded increases while Buloke maintained its 100 per cent immunisation rate from 2017 to 2018.
The increases come as the state government announced that 95.7 per cent of kids aged five in Victoria are fully immunised – the best rate of all Australian states and territories.
A steady increase in immunisation rates has been noted since the introduction of the No Jab, No Play laws.
Greater Bendigo (96.5 per cent) dropped by 0.9 per cent while Central Goldfields (97.2 percent) dropped by 2.8 per cent.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said it was encouraging to immunisation rates rising across the board.
“This data shows that parents are listening to the experts and the science – and ignoring those who tout misinformation that puts kids at risk,” she said.
Also encouraging was the number of shires that recorded above 95 per cent in immunisation rates.
The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.
High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.
“Immunisation is safe, effective and it saves lives. We’re so glad that more parents than ever before are taking heed of the message and keeping their kids safe,” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said.
The Macedon Ranges (91.2 per cent) recorded one of the lower immunisation rates in central Victoria after dropping by 4.5 per cent. Hepburn’s immunisation rate were just 85.2 per cent.
Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said it was disappointing Macedon Ranges and Hepburn had missed the “herd immunity” targets.
“It shows that our message that vaccinations saves lives isn't getting through to everyone,” she said.
“I will continue to work with local parents and community groups to make sure we encourage people across the region to listen to the science and get their children immunised.”