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Provide your feedback on the ‘No Jab, No Play’ proposal - South Australian Public Health (Immunisation and Early Childhood Care Services) Amendment Bill 2017.

What is being decided?

A draft South Australian Public Health (Immunisation and Early Childhood Care Services) Amendment Bill 2017 (PDF) has been proposed for feedback.

The South Australian Government believes that this State should have the best childhood immunisation rates in the Country and is proposing tough new laws to improve immunisation among children. The new ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws will mean children must be appropriately immunised, on an immunisation catch-up program or be exempt for medical reasons, in order to attend early childhood care services.

Immunisation coverage in South Australia is generally good with 92-93% of children in the three measured aged groups* fully vaccinated. However given the serious public health risk posed by vaccine preventable diseases, there is still room for improvement. The proposed amendments aim to:

  • further improve the overall immunisation coverage in South Australia
  • reduce pockets of under-immunisation in South Australia
  • improve the ability to control vaccine preventable disease in early childhood care services, and
  • improve recording of vaccines given.

*The three measured age groups are children aged include: 1. 12 months to less than 15 months; 2. 24 months to less than 27 months, and; 3. 60 months to less than 63 months. Refer to http://bit.ly/2tEmE3O.

Why is immunisation so important?

Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to specific infectious diseases. Immunisation is one of the most effective strategies to protect children and adults against certain diseases (called ‘vaccine preventable diseases’).

For most vaccine preventable diseases, immunisation not only protects individuals but also others in our community by increasing the level of immunity such that when a large percentage of people in the population are immunised against a specific disease, it becomes harder for that disease to spread. This concept is known as ‘herd immunity’.

Vaccine preventable diseases can be serious and although side effects can occur from immunisation, the benefits of immunisation far outweigh the risks from the diseases they seek to prevent.

Why is it important for all children to be immunised?

Immunisation provides direct protection against vaccine preventable diseases for a vaccinated child. In addition, for many vaccine preventable diseases, if most children are vaccinated, vaccination indirectly protects people who are unable to be vaccinated by decreasing spread of the disease. Some people cannot be vaccinated because they are too young to have some vaccines, or have certain medical conditions.

The more children who are vaccinated the greater our ability to control vaccine preventable diseases. Unless a child has medical reasons why vaccination is not safe, all children should be immunised with all the recommended vaccines at the age scheduled to provide the best protection for that child and the community.

How can your input influence the decision?

The South Australian Public Health (Immunisation and Early Childhood Care Services) Amendment Bill 2017 proposes:

  • Children must be age appropriately immunised, on an immunisation catch-up program, or meet the exemption requirements (e.g. they are unable to be immunised for medical reasons) in order to attend early childhood services.
  • Parents/guardians will need to provide early childhood services with evidence that their child meets the immunisation requirements. These records will need to be kept by the service whilst the child is enrolled.
  • A child with a vaccine preventable disease or who is at risk of getting a vaccine preventable disease may be excluded from the early childhood service when an outbreak of that disease is occurring at the service.

For further information see:

We want to hear your feedback on the proposed amendments and welcome your feedback on the following questions.

  1. Will it be easy for you to provide your child’s immunisation history statement to enrol or attend an early childhood service? If No – Why?
  2. Would the proposed legislation changes prevent your child from accessing early childhood services? If Yes – why?
  3. Can you easily access an immunisation service for your child to be fully immunised?
  4. Do you agree with the proposed changes to help protect children against vaccine preventable diseases?

Get involved

You can join the conversation by answering the questions above via:

Feedback received during the consultation period will be reviewed and a Bill will be introduced into Parliament. Once the Bill passes Parliament and become Law, the community will be further engaged about how the new law will affect them.
 

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