Federal Government pushes to ban unvaccinated children from childcare centres
The Federal Government is pushing state and territory governments to ban unvaccinated children from childcare centres.
- Some states have stopped unvaccinated children from enrolling in child care
- Malcolm Turnbull wants all states and territories to take a strong stance
- Labor pushes for national education campaign
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written to premiers and chief ministers urging them to take a firm stance on the issue.
Some states have already stopped unvaccinated children from enrolling in child care, but Mr Turnbull said he wanted similar laws to be rolled out across the whole country.
Mr Turnbull said vaccination rates had been improving recently, but there was more to be done.
“We believe we can take it further than that — this has got to be a concerted national effort by all governments to ensure all our children can be vaccinated. No jab, no pay, no play.”
Currently, unvaccinated children can enrol in childcare centres in the NT, ACT, SA, WA or Tasmania.
Queensland, NSW and Victoria require children to be fully immunised or on an approved catch-up program.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told Channel Nine it was the Government’s duty to make sure preventable diseases did not spread.
“It matters because it’s protecting children and against mumps and measles and shingles and hooping cough and conditions that can lead to agony or, as we see, real tragedies,” he said.
“It’s our duty as a government to try to protect every child, and there should be no barrier to any parent adopting this measure … if we don’t do this we put innocent children, beautiful children, at risk.”
Labor applauds PM’s push, wants education campaign
The Federal Opposition also threw its weight behind the Prime Minister’s push, with leader Bill Shorten saying Labor also wanted to make sure children were vaccinated.
“I applaud Mr Turnbull standing up along with Labor against the anti-vaccination brigade,” Mr Shorten said.
“I’ve written to Mr Turnbull last week and said one thing the Federal Government can do without just putting all the problems back on the states is to have a national education campaign.”
The Prime Minister’s push to state and territory leaders comes after reports some unvaccinated children were being turned away for medical treatment.
The Australian Child Health Poll survey of almost 2,000 parents found among the 5 per cent of children who were not up to date with their vaccinations, one in six had been refused care.
The survey also found that 74 per cent of parents believe they should be told how many children are not up to date with vaccines at schools or childcare centres.
Further, seven out of 10 parents said that knowing the number of under-vaccinated children would influence their decision in choosing childcare centres and schools.
While 95 per cent of Australian children are fully vaccinated, the survey said one in three parents held concerns about vaccination.
One in 10 parents believed that vaccines could cause autism, and a further 30 per cent were unsure — despite medical research showing no causal link.
The issue has been in the spotlight in recent days after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson described the Government’s ‘no jab, no pay’ policy as a “dictatorship” and said parents should do their own research into vaccinations.