We are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to the government’s new ‘No Jab, No Play’ initiative as we do not know what impact it will have on our region.
It seems that this policy is trying to catch unvaccinated people with a wide net, and has a goal of improving vaccination rates Australia wide. This goal is one that we welcome.
We know that most Australian children who are un- or under-vaccinated are that way because parents have perhaps become complacent, may have moved, lost records, or forgotten that an immunisation was due. It seems likely that this strategy will serve as a big reminder to those people, and so increase their take up of vaccines.
However, in our region, many parents have made a deliberate choice to refuse vaccination, and we do not know what impact this policy will have on them.
We will therefore wait and see how the new policy will impact our community, and in the meantime we would welcome further research into this area.
The science is clear, with overwhelming evidence in favour of vaccination as a vital and safe public health initiative to prevent serious disease, and those who choose to not vaccinate are doing so because of misinformation and misunderstanding. We therefore recognise that in addition to financial disincentives or incentives, it is also important to stop the spread of misinformation, and to provide ongoing education about vaccination and vaccine preventable diseases.