The National Vaccine Advisory Committee has urged parents to vaccinating their children, as more and more states, territories and communities in Australia prepare to go to the polls for a vote on the controversial Victorian law that will allow for mandatory vaccinations for adults.
Key points:The committee is recommending that parents who do not vaccinate their children be able to opt out of vaccination on their children’s birthdaysIf parents are unable to opt their children out, the committee recommends they be placed in quarantineThe recommendations come after the coronavirus scare in February and the coronovirus outbreak in October last year.
The National Vaccines Advisory Committee, which advises the government on health issues, is calling for parents who don’t vaccinate to be able choose to opt in or out of vaccinating on their child’s birthday.
In a submission to the committee, the ACAC said that since the Victorian government passed the new legislation, it has seen an “increased demand for immunisation”.
The committee said that “anecdotal evidence suggests that parents are increasingly opting out of vaccinations”, with a growing number of parents opting out through “self-induced decisions” rather than compulsory vaccinations.
The committee recommended that the Government introduce a compulsory immunisation schedule for the first child born after the date of the next birthday.
The submission also called for “a national vaccination schedule for infants and children between the ages of 1 and 2 years, and adults aged 16 and over”.
“The Australian Government should establish a national vaccination timetable for adults, with the objective of vaccinators being able to make decisions on their own about their immunisation,” the submission said.
The ACAC also said that it believed the introduction of a mandatory vaccination schedule was “appropriate to protect the health of the community”, noting that it was the “highest priority” for the committee to achieve.
The new legislation allows parents to opt-out of vaccinations on their birthdays by visiting their local community health centre.
However, the Victorian Government says that parents can only opt-in if they have their child vaccinated by a healthcare professional.
In the submission, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which represents some of the state’s healthcare providers, said that some people have been forced to choose between vaccinating and living with their parents, with many opting to be in quarantine, which involves being put in isolation for up to 24 hours at a time.
“Some parents are choosing to be quarantine-free and are unable or unwilling to vaccine their children,” the ACAG submission said, referring to the “self induced decision” to opt to be vaccinated or not.
The Australian Medical Association, which has also expressed concerns about the mandatory vaccination law, said in a statement that the government’s proposed schedule for vaccinations “does not adequately address the significant number of Australians who cannot or do not wish to vaccinat the birth of their child.”
“There is no evidence that it will reduce the spread of the coronaviirus and there is no credible evidence that its introduction will result in significant improvements in the overall safety of Australians,” the AMA said.
“While the introduction would improve health outcomes, the introduction does not address the real concerns about coronaviruses, and is unlikely to significantly reduce transmission of the disease.”