News

No Jab No Play to improve vaccination rates in WA children

22 July 2019

The 'No Jab, No Play' policy is effective from Monday 22 July, meaning any child who is not fully vaccinated can be excluded from being enrolled in childcare services and kindergarten programs (non-compulsory early education and care).

Kids eating lunch at school

These changes will improve Western Australian vaccination rates to achieve optimal coverage. Children are vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases and are a major source of their transmission.

Exceptions will apply to children with approved medical exemption to a vaccine, or with natural immunity to a specific disease; those on an approved catch-up schedule and those identified as exempt because of particular family circumstances.

In 2018, the State's immunisation coverage was lower than the national average for one, two and five-year-olds, with two-year-olds in WA recording the lowest immunisation coverage of 90.2 per cent.

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have already introduced similar laws, and South Australia is planning to proceed in the near future.

An immunisation rate of 95 per cent is considered necessary to provide 'herd' immunity to even the most infectious vaccine-preventable diseases in our community, providing protection to those who are too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women, children with immune disorders and some cancer patients, for whom these diseases can be extremely serious.

Vaccines delivered through the WA childhood immunisation program are provided free by the State Government through the National Immunisation Program, protecting children from 16 vaccine-preventable diseases. For more information read starting or moving child care, kindergarten or school – immunisation requirements.

Parents can check their child's immunisation history on the Medicare Australia website (external site).