Hills suburbs below national target for immunisation rates

Stock image.
Stock image.

HILLS suburbs remain well below the national target of 95 per cent immunisation rates according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015-16, shows just 83 per cent of five year olds in Darlington and Mt Helena were fully immunised.

The number of five year olds fully immunised in Swan View was 89.9 per cent, South Guildford 91.2 per cent, Lesmurdie 93.5 per cent, High Wycombe 94.3 per cent and Forrestfield 94.6 per cent.

AIHW spokesman Michael Frost said it was important to maintain high immunisation rates to protect the community, including vulnerable groups such as babies who were too young to receive vaccines.

“Immunisation is a safe and effective way of reducing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in the community and protecting against potentially serious health problems,” he said.

‘The good news is that for the first time, all 31 of Australia’s Primary Health Network areas now have immunisation rates for five year olds above 90 per cent.

“And the gap we see between the areas with the highest and lowest immunisation rates has started to shrink,” Mr Frost said.

“But when looking at smaller areas, like postcode areas, we see much greater variation in immunisation rates, from a high of almost 100 per cent and a low of 71 per cent for fully immunised 5 year olds.”

Mr Frost said releasing local immunisation information could help local health system managers understand what is happening in their community and where improvements were needed.

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