Indigenous jabs spike

The report, released on March 27, outlines the immunisation rates of children from 2012 to 2013 and shows the Fremantle area, which in the report for the year previous had recorded some of the lowest levels in the country, was improving its numbers.

In the 2011 to 2012 report, for children aged one, two and five, the percentage of immunisation was 90, 90 and 87 per cent respectively.

But the most recent report shows that number was mostly improving, with the numbers now reading 90.5, 89.7 and 88.4. Only the percentage of two-year-olds immunised dropped in that time.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander immunisations saw the biggest growth, from 82.3, 84.7 and 75.8 per cent for children aged one, two and five in 2011 to 2012 up to 90.6, 89.7 and 85.9 in 2012 to 2013.

Fremantle Medicare Local board chairman Graham Farquhar said the growth of a network of local organisations working together to raise community awareness and improve accessibility to services could have helped the figures.

‘There is a growing trend for people to be actively involved in their health care and that of their children and people are more empowered than in the past to access and interpret information and make their own call on what is best for their family,’ he said.

‘It is well established that health outcomes for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community are poorer than health outcomes for the community as a whole and it is important that these children are protected from vaccine- preventable diseases which can have serious health implications and can impede healthy development.

‘Based on the success we’ve had this year, we hope to see an increase in immunisation rates (in the next 12 months).’