Vaccination rates drop in Metro North

Published 1:00pm 27 October 2023

Vaccination rates drop in Metro North
Words by Nadia Chapman

Vaccination rates have fallen among adults and children within the Metro North Hospital and Health Service catchment in the past three years, according to new data.

The three-year analysis of childhood immunisation rates across the Metro North region has revealed a fall in the number of parents getting their children fully vaccinated against illnesses like polio, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella.

The findings show vaccination rates have dropped below the national childhood immunisation benchmark of 95 percent, prompting a plea for people to vaccinate their children against serious illnesses and diseases.

Since 2020, the fully vaccinated rate for one-year-olds has fallen from 95.05 to 94.65 percent.

While the fully vaccinated rate for two-year-olds remains at 92.9 percent, the rate for five-year-olds fell from 94.6 to 94.4 percent.

Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman says it's important for everyone to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.

“I urge all Brisbane residents to take action and get vaccinated, including your children, to ensure protection for themselves and the community as a whole from preventable disease and illness,” Ms Fentiman says.

“The downwards trend of vaccination rates we can see in Brisbane’s north is alarming, and we all have a role to play in doing more.

“We know that vaccines are the safest and most effective way for Queenslanders to protect children, themselves and their community from preventable disease and illness.

“Vaccines have been scientifically proven to work and saves lives and are an essential part of keeping Queensland communities safe from serious illness.”

The Metro North region also experienced a decline in the number of adults vaccinated against influenza and whooping cough.

In 2023, just 30 percent of Queenslanders received an annual influenza vaccination -  five percent less than the 2022 vaccination rate; with 93 percent of people contracting influenza not vaccinated.

Metro North Health chief executive Jackie Hanson says making it easier for people to access vaccinations continues to be a priority.

“Metro North Health remains committed to vaccination for both patients and staff, ensuring we continue to offer vaccination programs ... and innovate in the ways we do this, to make it even easier to get vaccinated,” Jackie says.

“Vaccination has always been, and will continue to be, a key step in safeguarding our community against disease and illness.

“We know that vaccination means many of our patients might not need to see us, so we continue to do everything we can to ensure vaccine uptake in our region.”

For more information about immunisation, click here.

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