Affluent areas lead non-vaccination
Sydney's richest suburbs have some of the lowest rates of child immunisation, according to a new report.
The latest New South Wales Annual Immunisation Coverage Report shows immunisation rates for all key milestone ages — 12 months, 24 months and five years — improved in 2016.
But the Northern Sydney Local Health District (LHD), covering the wealthier suburbs including Manly, Mosman, Killara and Palm Beach has a full immunisation rate of 88.3 per cent among infants aged 24 months – several points lower than the state average of 90.5 per cent.
Full immunisation rates for the milestone ages of 12 months and five years old in the area are higher, but still below the rest of the state and country.
NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard said the report was largely good news.
“Vaccination rates have improved a lot in NSW since 2010 so we're doing very well, but there are pockets across NSW where there is some resistance,” Mr Hazzard said.
“It is very concerning that there are some pockets of NSW that aren't keeping up with the overall increase of vaccination rates, we think that may be affects from anti-vaxxers message but I think also particularly in one of the Sydney areas it may well be that parents are just extremely busy.”
Shadow health minister Walt Secord said more should be done to combat the anti-vaccination movement.
“We see the message is not getting to wealthier Australians, I want to see the Berejiklian Government stand up to the anti-vaccination movement,” Mr Secord said.
“It's absolutely worrying that affluent areas in Australia have lower vaccination rates than lower socio-economic areas.”