As a result of the federal government's 'No Jab No Pay' legislation, almost 6000 children — whose parents were previously vaccination objectors — have been vaccinated. As a result, vaccination rates in Australia are at an all-time high, with one and five-year-old vaccination rates at 93%.
Starting from January 2016, parent who didn't have their children's vaccinations up-to-date were being denied the Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit. As a result of the change, precisely 5,738 objectors have vaccinated their children.
The legislation has had its detractors. Some believe the legislation unfairly hit families in poverty. The majority of unvaccinated children remain so, not because of parental choice, but as a result of access, and there have been reports that thousands of parents were unfairly losing welfare payments as a direct result of the legislation. According to one immunisation expert 18-50% of the children listed as not fully vaccinated were in fact fully vaccinated.
But the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter has heralded the increased vaccination rates as a victory for the 'No Jab No Pay' scheme.
“This is good, reassuring news for public health and safety,” he said.
“I’m particularly pleased to see that large numbers of vaccination objectors are getting the message and doing the right thing by their children and their communities.”
According to a release from Christian Porter's office 148,000 children, who were not up-to-date with requirements, were now fully vaccinated.
The ultimate goal is to hit a herd immunity level of 95%.
“It’s clear that the No Jab, No Pay policy is helping to achieve this,” said Porter.