Time ticks for ‘no jab, no pay’
GYMPIE parents are running out of time to vaccinate their children or risk losing welfare payments under the Federal Government's new "no jab, no pay" policy.
The tough law will come into effect tomorrow, and coincides with the states "no jab, no play" law announced two months ago, which allows child care centres the right to exclude children based on vaccination records.
Gympie practitioner Dr Rodney Day, who has been immunising children for 35 years, thinks the move is a positive one for the protection of the community and the individual.
He said he understood people wished to make a choice about vaccinating their child, but said their choice potentially affected other people.
"We have to be led by the science," he said, pointing out that science did not support the view that vaccinations caused adverse reactions in children.
He said people who chose not to vaccinate, did so out of the fear that vaccinations caused adverse reactions, which had been disproved.
"The science is in favour of immunisation being safe for not only the individual, but the community," Dr Day said.
Dr Day said the laws still allowed the decision to be made by the individual, although it is a more costly one.
But in a topic concerning the health of children, not everybody agrees with the government's methods of encouraging Australians to vaccinate their children, and a hot bed of opposing views has arisen as part of the debate.
A Gympie grandfather, who believes his grandson developed aspergers symptoms after being vaccinated as a two-year-old, does not believe it is as black and white as the public debate has become.
"If the government is going to penalise people on low incomes for not vaccinating their children, then it must take full responsibility for all the medical requirements for all the children who may be adversely affected from vaccinations," he said.
"I really believe medical authorities should consider giving children one vaccination at a time instead of overloading their underdeveloped immune systems with multiple vaccinations; whether the children like having that many needles or not."
More than 90% of Queensland children aged between 24 -27 months are fully immunised.
Despite the state being home to four of the five top anti-vaccination hotspots nationally, Dr Day said Gympie continued to have a high uptake of vaccinations, compared to a lot of other areas in South East Queensland.
He encouraged anyone with concerns about immunisation to discuss it with their doctor.
WHERE TO GET VACCINATED IN GYMPIE
QUEENSLAND Childhood immunisations are recommended at birth, two months, four months, six months, 12 months, 18 months and four years.
Parents do not have to pay to vaccinate their children. Medicare covers the cost of the doctor's visit, while Queensland Health provides the vaccination.
Vaccinations, including catch-up schedules, can be carried out at doctor's surgeries in the Gympie region.
Channon St Medical Centre is the designated council immunisation provider for the region.
It runs daily immunisation clinic times during the week; with no appointment necessary:
- Channon Street Medical Centre
- Gympie Market Place, Gympie
- Monday - Friday 9.30am. - 12.30pm and 2.30 - 4.30pm.