The Federal Government is spending $5.5 million to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says while more than 93 per cent of five-year-olds are fully vaccinated, immunisation rates in some parts of Australia remain low.
The “Get Facts about Immunisation” campaign, launched at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital on Sunday, will target parents in these areas through child care centres and social media.
Immunologist Ian Frazer says vaccinating a child protects not just them but the wider community.
“We still see cases of disease outbreaks, particularly in areas of low immunisation coverage, so it’s important immunisation rates are as high as possible,” he said in a statement.
“A parent will never know when their child may come into contact with someone who has got one of these infections.”
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) August 12, 2017
This comes a week after the West Australian government issued a citywide health alert when an unvaccinated high school student returned to Perth from Italy, where he contracted measles.
About 200 of the 400 students at his Steiner school are unvaccinated and health authorities feared an outbreak, with nine out of 10 susceptible persons in close contact with a measles patient likely to develop it.
Naturally occurring measles has not been present in WA for 20 years.