Health warning: Immunise or others could die

NOT immunising your child puts them and other children at risk of serious disease or death, according to Queensland Health Communicable Diseases Unit Senior Director Dr Sonya Bennett.

Dr Bennett said nearly 92 per cent of five year old Queensland children were fully immunised, leaving nearly one in 10 children unprotected.

''Immunisation is one of the most significant medical achievements of the last century; saving millions of lives,'' Dr Bennett said.

"We don't see diseases like diphtheria and polio in our community because of public immunisation programs. If vaccination rates fall we could start to see these diseases return.

''A child's four-year old immunisations are particularly important to boost immunity against serious diseases such as whooping cough and measles."

''With one in 10 children not immunised, not only are they at risk, but they also put at risk others around them who can't be immunised or whose immune systems aren't working properly.

No one wants to see a small baby too young to be immunised struggling to breathe with whooping cough or a little child admitted to hospital with measles or meningococcal disease.

"No one wants to see a small baby too young to be immunised struggling to breathe with whooping cough or a little child admitted to hospital with measles or meningococcal disease.

"These are very real scenarios without immunisation and the only way to prevent it happening is to get children immunised."

Dr Bennett said it was disappointing that some parents did not vaccinate their children.

"Of the nine per cent who remain unvaccinated, we believe about three per cent are objectors to immunisation.

"However, we know the other five or six per cent generally support immunisation but for some reason, are not vaccinating and this leaves their children unprotected."

Some areas of Queensland have vaccination rates as high as 97 per cent while others are below 90 per cent.

A breakdown of vaccination rates for each Hospital and Health Service is attached to this media release.

"We want parents to be aware of when their child is due for their vaccinations and make appointments with their local immunisation provider."

Dr Bennett said unvaccinated people travelling to countries where diseases such as measles were still prevalent posed a problem.

"In some cases these people are contracting diseases and are bringing them back to Australia, infecting others," she said.

"The last two cases of measles in Queensland were as a result of people travelling to the Philippines and then returning with the illness."

>> Further information 

>> Details on when your child is due for immunisation 

To stay connected with the latest health information in Queensland, as well as healthy living tips, like the Queensland Health Facebook page.

>> Queensland Health on Twitter

>> Queensland Health online news
 



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