There’s a tiny win for kids in the Budget that’s also a tiny win for science.
Parents who don’t immunise their kids will lose $28 a fortnight, under Family Tax Benefit Part A. The cut comes in from 1 July 2018.
No, a measly $2 a day isn’t going to make the most committed anti-vaxxers change their mind. But they’re not the ones the policy is aimed at. This is aimed at the fence-sitters (the ones who aren’t quite sure whether vaccination is a good idea) and the forgetters (the ones who just haven’t got around to getting their kids vaccinated yet).
This kind of financial jab at parents does work. The Government’s original “no jab, no pay” policy came in at the beginning of 2016. Since then, immunisation rates have gone up. For two-year-olds, the rate has gone up 1.75 per cent to 90.06 per cent.
We speak to Malcolm Turnbull about the anti-vaccination movement (post continues after video…):
It seems small, but it matters a lot. Government figures show that to stop most diseases spreading through the population, and infecting those who are too young or too ill to be immunised, around 90 per cent of people need to be vaccinated against them. To stop highly infectious diseases like measles spreading, around 95 per cent of people need to be vaccinated.
Every extra vaccinated kid counts.
When you vaccinate, you’re not just protecting your child. You’re protecting other people’s children – including babies like Riley Hughes, who was too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough when he died from it.
People who make the effort to get their kids vaccinated are protecting the whole community. Those who don’t do it should get a little nudge. For some, a little nudge may be all they need.