Vaccination rate for Australian children hits record high: data

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-08 09:12:44|Editor: Xiaoxia
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CANBERRA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Data released by the Australian government for the first quarter this year on Sunday revealed that 94.78 percent of all Australian five-year-olds have been immunized, up from 94.67 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

The figure was even higher for indigenous five-year-olds, with 96.66 percent having received a full course of vaccines.

Both figures were significantly higher than the global vaccination rate of 85 percent.

Addressing the figures, Health Minister Greg Hunt told media on Sunday that vaccines save and protect lives.

"I am delighted that our public health campaigns and our immunization programs are protecting all Australians," he said.

According to state-by-state data, Victoria and Tasmania both had immunization rates of 95.6 percent while Western Australia (WA) was the worst at 93.4 percent.

Federal and state governments introduced "no jab, no play" laws whereby children must be fully vaccinated in order to be enrolled in childcare or kindergarten.

A survey of 1,000 Australians released by the University of Western Australia (UW) earlier in July found that 85 percent of respondents agreed with the policy while only nine percent disagreed.

"In contrast to similar studies in the United States and the United Kingdom, we found that support for both vaccination and mandate is very high, with no significant opposition from any political subgroup," UWA co-author Katie Attwell said in a press release on the university's website.

"This is important because it shows that in Australia, mandatory vaccination plays out as good politics for all parties."