A second case of whooping cough has been confirmed at a Tweed school.
A second case of whooping cough has been confirmed at a Tweed school. Thinkstock

New report shows M’bah took a hit in jab rates

MURWILLUMBAH is the eighth worst region in the country when it comes to vaccination rates.

The newly released Healthy Communities report for 2014-15 found the Murwillumbah postcode, which includes Nunderi, Tyalgum, Uki and Chillingham, had an 80.7% vaccination rate for children at one year.

Other notorious non-vaccination hot spots on the North Coast have fared much worse, with a 46.7% rate in the Mullumbimby postcode, 61.1% at Byron Bay and 67.2% at Ocean Shores.

The Melbourne CBD scored slightly worse than Murwillumbah, with only 80.4% fully vaccinated.

But the real kicker was Sydney’s exclusive CBD enclaves including, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and Haymarket, which ranked fifth worst with 78.1% vaccinated.

The report also showed only 89.2% of five-year-olds had been immunised on the North Coast, compared to places like Murrumbidgee where the rate was 95.6% – the highest rates of vaccination in Australia.

Meanwhile, the No Jab, No Pay policy, implemented since January 1 has cut families out of Child Care Benefits, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement for not vaccinating.

For some families this means a loss of as much as $15,000 in payments if they continue to refuse to vaccinate their children.

The policy is already working to reduce conscientious objectors overall, with Immunise Australia Program figures revealing in NSW the number reducing from 9732 to 9205 in the June quarter.

The new figures came as a crowd of about 500 people gathered at Mullumbimby on Sunday to protest against the policy, saying it breached their human rights, and last week two Tweed schools reporting a whooping cough outbreak.

Authorities said parents can forget to keep up with boosters.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner encouraged parents and carers to use the free Save the Date to Vaccinate Applicationto ensure their children receive vaccinations on time.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, and meningitis, are sometimes life-threatening infections. The more we vaccinate, the more we can protect the community,” she said.



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