Provider data give insight into vaccination rates
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) data, provided in April, show that childhood immunisation rates continue to be lower in Western Australia than in other Australian states and territories (Figure 1).
Information on immunisation providers for overdue children has been analysed to help strengthen strategies for improving childhood immunisation rates in WA.
Figure 1 - Percentage of children fully immunised, by age at 4th quarter 2012, by state or jurisdiction
In April 2013, 33,363 children in WA were recorded in ACIR as being overdue for vaccination by one or more months. The majority of these children had received their most recent vaccination from a GP (60.5%)(Figure 2). Fewer than 10% of overdue children had had their most recent vaccination at a community health centre, and 7.9% at a range of other providers (such as local government, hospitals and population health units). Close to 22% of overdue children were recorded on ACIR as having received no vaccinations.
In the remote public health regions of WA (Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields) the spread of “most recent previous provider” was different from the rest of the state, with community health centres being the most recent provider of vaccination for 50% of overdue children while GPs provided just 21.5% of most recent vaccinations (Figure 3). For the majority of overdue children in rural areas, GPs were the most recent provider (52%).Overdue children who received their most recent vaccination from a metropolitan GP made up the largest group of overdue children in WA (54% of all overdue children). To achieve any significant improvement in WA immunisation rates, a greater proportion of this group of children will need to catch up with their missing vaccinations. GPs can help lift immunisation rates by recalling overdue children. In addition, the WA Health Department is developing a strategy for following up the families of children who have never been vaccinated, and who therefore have no previous provider recorded on ACIR.
Figure 2 - Number and percentage of children overdue, by most recent provider, all of WA
Figure 3 - Percentage and number of overdue children, by region and provider type