THE State Government has moved to introduce a bill which would prohibit the enrollment of under-vaccinated children from childcare and kindergartens.
New regulations will require childcare services, kindergartens and schools in to collect and report on the immunisation status of all students from January 1, 2019.
The Chief Health Officer will also have powers to fine childcare centres, kindergartens or schools which do not comply.
Phase two of the ‘No Jab, No Play’ policy would give the Chief Health Officer the power to exclude children who are not fully vaccinated from enrolling in childcare services and kindergarten.
It is anticipated phase two of No Jab No Play will be effective as of July 2019 for children entering childcare services, and in 2020 for children commencing kindergarten.
Health minister Roger Cook said the changes were common sense and would help reduce preventable diseases.
“In Australia, we are lucky to have an immunisation program which protects children from 16 vaccine preventable diseases, yet we are still seeing children who are not fully immunised, putting other children and the broader community at risk,” he said.
“These changes will allow the Department of Health to readily access immunisation-related data and to support families to ensure their children are up to date with their vaccinations.
New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have already introduced similar laws, and South Australia is planning to proceed in the near future.
In 2017, WA’s immunisation coverage was lower than the national average for one, two and five-year-olds, with two-year-olds in WA recording the lowest immunisation coverage of 89.1 per cent.