Coast still dragging its heels on vaccination

THE Sunshine Coast continues to have one of the lowest immunisation rates in the state among children aged up to a year old.

The latest Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service figures, which cover Caloundra, Gympie and Nambour, show only 88.1% of children in that age bracket are fully immunised.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland has renew its push for parents to immunise their children following reports this week of three people aboard a plane from Bali to Brisbane testing positive for measles.

AMA Queensland president Dr Shaun Rudd (pictured) said yesterday that it was a stark reminder of the dangers of the highly contagious disease.

He said people who thought it was not an issue were simply wrong.

Dr Shaun Rudd

"You would not put your children in the car without doing up the seatbelt.

"People who fail to immunise their children are exposing them, and others, to a huge risk."

The executive director of national advocacy group The Parenthood, Fiona Sugden, said immunisation was the only way to stop children contracting diseases.

She said modern medical practitioners and science agreed that immunisation worked.

"People who peddle mistruths about immunisation are putting people's lives in danger," she said.

"Those people prey on those who are vulnerable in our communities, using scare tactics and lies."

Controversial anti-vaccination organisation Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network claims there is no scientific proof immunisation works and that it can lead to adverse side effects.

It believes the decision to immunise should be left up to individual parents.

Founder Meryl Dorey could not be reached for comment.


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