NEW laws are being introduced by the State Government to ensure children are vaccinated.
Under the laws, approved early childhood education and care services will be protected if they decide to exclude children who are not fully immunised against vaccine-preventable diseases.
The new laws would come into effect from January 1 and apply to all early childhood education and care services approved to operate in Queensland.
Having flagged the plan while in Opposition Health Minister Cameron Dick said Labor would give childcare centres the choice of whether to accept children who were not fully vaccinated.
The Brisbane Times reported Queensland’s immunisation rates for children sat at 92% in the last quarter of 2014, short of the 95% recommended for strong “herd immunity”.
The Sunshine Coast has some of the lowest immunisation rates in the country.
“We want to empower childcare centres to talk to parents about their child’s immunisation needs and encourage families to vaccinate,” Mr Dick told the Brisbane Times.
Childcare centres that choose to reject enrolments based on immunisation status will be legally protected, but directors will have the discretion to leave its enrolment policy where it currently is.
Mr Dick will introduce the bill during the Wednesday sitting, with the aim of having it installed as law by January 2016.