Immunisation providers warned to prepare for rush
Health providers should prepare for a possible increase in the number of parents seeking catch-up immunisation for their children following the introduction of the Federal Government’s Strengthening Immunisation for Children initiative.
Under the initiative — which came into effect on July 1 — families will receive Part A of the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) only if their children are fully immunised during the financial years in which they turn 1, 2 and 5.
For the purposes of FTB, a child is deemed fully immunised if he or she has had all vaccines listed on the National Immunisation Program schedule (for children under the age of 7 years) except for meningococcal C, pneumococcal, varicella and rotavirus vaccines.
A child’s immunisation status will be assessed using data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register so providers will need to ensure the records of any children they have vaccinated are up to date on the register.
Parents of children whose immunisation is incomplete may also ask providers to complete forms certifying their exemption from immunisation.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing wrote to all immunisation providers and Aboriginal organisations in late June to advise them of the new arrangements.