BEST SHOT: The Coast is lagging behind in preventative immunisation.
BEST SHOT: The Coast is lagging behind in preventative immunisation. Contributed

Child immunisation rates soar across the region

GYMPIE and surrounding areas are well on their way to fully embracing the jab - as immunisation rates across all demographics continue to climb.

For the team at PHN Central Qld, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay, it is cause for celebration, but medical professionals note there is still a long way to go.

"Across our whole region, there are 27,422 children who are registered and are fully immunised at age five,” PHN Board Chair Dr Peter Dobson said.

"The overall rate of fully immunised five-year-olds has gone from 90.8 in 2012-3 to 91.6 in 2015-6.”

Dr Dobson was also eager to point out 92.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders under the age of five were also immunised.

"While these rates are short of the national target of 95%, which provides herd immunity to the whole community, it demonstrates the work that is happening to ensure every child is protected,” he said.

"Herd immunity is a critical point at which the most vulnerable members of our community are able to be protected from serious and potentially deadly illnesses.”

Localised data shows 89.8% of one-year-olds in Gympie have received the recommended injections, increasing to 90.3% for five-year-olds.

Dr Dobson said immunisation remained the safest way to protect everyone in the community from preventable disease.

"The team at PHN is working with local communities and immunisation providers across the region,” he said.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there - if you're sitting on the fence or unsure where your kids are in their immunisation schedule you really should speak to your local GP for further information.”