Childhood immunisations reach record rates in first quarter of 2021
The immunisation coverage rate for five year olds has increased to a historic 95.22%.
“This surpasses our national aspiration of 95% and gives Australia the herd immunity needed to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt in a statement.
This is the fourth consecutive quarter that the childhood immunisation rate has increased.
Australia’s rate is also well above the international average immunisation coverage rate of 86% for five year olds, as estimated by the World Health Organization.
Minister Hunt credited the Childhood Immunisation Education Campaign with contributing to the growth in immunisation rates across the country, including in areas where there has been some vaccination hesitancy.
The campaign launched last year focused on the importance of vaccinating on time, the protection vaccination provides and addressed concerns around vaccine safety.
In the year prior to the campaign launch, the national immunisation rate for 5 year olds was 94.8%.
Across Australia, the coverage rate for one year olds has increased to 94.91% for the 12 months to March 2021, and two-year-old children have a coverage rate of 92.53%.
The highest coverage rate continues to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at five years old at 97.26%.
The vaccination rate for two year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children increased to 91.73%, while for one year olds it was 93.70%.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see immunisation rates climbing as Australia and the world continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister Hunt.
“Parents continue to show their confidence in the expert medical advice and in Australia’s independent medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to protect their children.”