28 January 2020

NSW Health is urging parents and carers to ensure children are vaccinated on time and has warned vaccinations shouldn’t be delayed even if a child has a minor illness.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Executive Director, Health Protection NSW encouraged parents and carers to download the Save the Date to Vaccinate app to ensure their children receive vital vaccinations in time for the start of school.

“On-time vaccinations are the most effective way to protect children from life-threatening diseases,” Dr McAnulty said.

“The free Save the Date to Vaccinate app reminds parents and carers what vaccinations their child needs and when they’re due, in line with the NSW Immunisation Schedule.

“If a child has a runny nose or slight cold, they can still get vaccinated. Delaying vaccinations can leave children exposed to serious illnesses at a time when they’re most vulnerable.”

Dr McAnulty said the recent measles outbreak in Samoa, which has killed at least 83 people, is a salient reminder of just how dangerous vaccine preventable disease can be when immunisations rates are low.

Mother of two Lisa Smith, from Sydney’s north, said the Save the Date to Vaccinate app is a helpful reminder in a hectic schedule.

“I never missed a vaccination with my first child but once I had my second child, I found it hard to stay on top of the key dates as I was just so busy with work and looking after two children,” Ms Smith said.

"The Save The Date to Vaccinate app sends automatic reminders to my phone, it’s made it so much easier to schedule immunisation appointments, not forget them and have a record to hand of all the vaccinations my children have received.”

On-time vaccination and overall participation in childhood immunisation programs continues to improve in NSW, with 94.5 per cent of children fully vaccinated by five years of age in the past 12 months compared with 90.8 per cent in 2012.

Protecting children from potentially deadly diseases is a key priority for the NSW Government, which has invested approximately $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

You can download the free Save The Date To Vaccinate app.