Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said while almost 95 per cent of NSW children are fully immunised, some have missed out on important vaccines to protect them against highly infectious diseases including whooping cough and measles.
“Our busy lives sometimes lead to delays in children being vaccinated on time, or occasionally missing a dose altogether,” she said.
“Last year was a relatively quiet year for whooping cough (pertussis).
“But cases are on the rise and we expect 2019 to be an outbreak year.
“Making sure that all children are up to date with their immunisations reduces their risk of getting a serious illness, and helps protect babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated.”
Outbreaks of whooping cough tend to occur every three to four years as community immunity wanes.
In November 2018, over 1000 people in NSW were diagnosed with whooping cough, the highest number in two years.
Dr Sheppeard said infants are due to receive their first vaccination when they are six-weeks old, followed by doses at four months and six months.
Boosters are due at 18 months, four years and in the first year of high school.
Meanwhile, there has been 11 cases of measles detected in NSW since Christmas.
Parents and carers with children starting childcare, primary or secondary school this year are also reminded to ensure they have provided their child’s immunisation history statement.
Immunisation requirements in primary schools were extended last year to include all secondary schools. Principals are now required to request an immunisation history statement when students enrol.
The changes were made to help control disease outbreaks in schools by collecting accurate information about a child’s immunisation status.
Students without an approved immunisation certificate and those who are unimmunised risk being excluded from school for their own safety, if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.
For students going from a public primary school to a public secondary school, their immunisation history statement will automatically transfer across.
Parents of other students can download their child’s statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
AIR Immunisation History Statements can be requested by:
- Using your Medicare online account through myGov
- Using the Medicare Express Plus App
- Calling the AIR General Enquiries Line on 1800 653 809
NSW has achieved its highest vaccination rates ever thanks to record investment in innovative immunisation programs. T he NSW Government will spend a record $22.75 million on state-wide immunisation programs in 2018-19.
For more information on immunisation requirements in primary and secondary schools visit: