THE grace period of 16 weeks, since the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation was introduced by State Parliament on January 1, 2016 is up and all kindergartens and child care facilities are now moving to make immunisation mandatory for entry to these facilities.
It may not have been the reason why the South Gippsland Shire’s immunisation team had a busy day of vaccinations at Korumburra last Wednesday, May 4 but it may have been a contributing factor.
It doesn’t mean those who “conscientiously object” to immunisation will be forced to have their children vaccinated. They simply won’t be admitted to any registered child care facilities until they can provide evidence that there child is fully vaccinated for their age or is on a vaccination catch-up program.
Those who can provide evidence that their child is unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons may also be admitted but from January 1, 2016, conscientious objection does not provide an exemption under the ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation.
Local shires will make an official announcement about the introduction of the policy locally next week.
According to the State Government: “Vaccination is one of the most effective interventions to prevent disease worldwide. Modern vaccines provide high levels of protection against an increasing number of diseases which, in some cases, can be fatal. Worldwide, it is estimated that immunisation programs prevent approximately 2.5 million deaths each year. The current immunisation rate in Victoria for children under 5 years of age is around 92 per cent; however immunisation coverage of 95 per cent is necessary to halt the spread of particularly virulent diseases such as measles. Immunisation not only protects those people who have been vaccinated, it also protects those in our community who may be unable to receive vaccines themselves, by reducing the prevalence and spread of disease.”
This law applies to all early childhood education and care services in Victoria providing including long day care, kindergarten (including 3 and 4 year old kindergarten), occasional care and family day care.
The law does not apply to enrolment in primary or secondary school, children attending an outside school hours care service (after school care, before school care, vacation care), enrolments of school children in long day care, family day care or occasional care, casual occasional care services that offer care of no more than 2 hours per day and no more than 6 hours per week (for example, crèches at gyms and shopping centres) and playgroups.
Homeopathic immunisation is not a recognised form of immunisation.
The following are dates for the next immunisation visits in South Gippsland: Fish Creek RSL Hall June 7, Foster Hall June 7, Leongatha Uniting Church Hall June 7, Mirboo North Maternal and Child Health Centre June 1, Korumburra Community Meeting Room June 1 and Nyora Community Hall July 6.