Plan to boost preschool immunisation rates
Western Australia's departments of health and education are developing an immunisation reminder system that will encourage parents to check the immunisation status of their children before they start school.
The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) shows that for the past two years, preschoolers (4 year olds) have had the lowest immunisation completion rate in WA— 87% compared with 91% for two year olds.
Under the new system, parents will be given a reminder letter and information brochure as part of their child's school enrolment pack and be asked to provide the school with a copy of their child's 4 year old ACIR statement.
The new measures will enable schools to maintain a record of the immunisation status of all students, ensuring they are prepared in the event a child is diagnosed with a vaccine-preventable disease and exclusion from school needs to be considered for students not fully immunised.
The letter to parents will also stress the importance of protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases when they start school, explain how they can check their child's immunisation status and advise on where immunisation can be accessed.
General practices have a role in helping to improve the immunisation rate of preschoolers by checking the immunisation status of all children who access their services and by recalling children between the ages of 3½ and 4 years, whose immunisation is incomplete.