Vaccination rates cause for concern

In 2014, a national target of 95 per cent was set to have all Australian children fully vaccinated against diseases such as tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles and hepatitis B.

The report shows that 90.9 per cent of all Australian children aged one, two and five were fully immunised in 2014-15.

In the Bayswater-Bassendean area, 90.8 per cent of one-year-olds, 87.2 per cent of two-year-olds and 91.7 per cent of five-year-olds were fully immunised.

These figures have remained steady for the past four years. Rates of immunisation for all northern suburbs last year were almost identical to Bayswater-Bassendean.

However, indigenous children in the northern suburbs had the second lowest rates for indigenous children, when compared to 31 primary health network areas nationwide.

About 80.4 per cent of children aged one were fully immunised, while 76.9 per cent of two-year-olds and 88.3 per cent of five-year-olds ticked the box.

Perth’s south had the lowest rates in the country, while WA indigenous country children had much higher rates. Health Consumers’ Council executive director Pip Brennan said immunisation rates of less than 95 per cent were due to families having difficulties accessing vaccinations. Only a small percentage were “vaccine refusers.”

“Ninety-five is the rate you need for community protection so it’s obviously under that,” she said. “Some people who don’t have English as their first language, there are just so many barriers for them.”

Ms Brennan said the rise in vaccinations among indigenous children aged five, compared with one and two-year-olds, was because they went into the primary school system and accessed vaccination services there.