Denmark’s vaccination rate concern

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Health worker prepares a Hypodermic needle with Influenza vaccine. Douglas Sacha / Getty Images
Camera IconHealth worker prepares a Hypodermic needle with Influenza vaccine. Douglas Sacha / Getty Images Credit: Getty Images

Denmark’s low immunisation rates are a cause for concern, according to the Australian Medical Association, after the town recorded vaccination rates lower than 75 per cent.

Recent data released from the Australian Immunisation Register showed immunisation coverage in the Great Southern sat at 94 per cent for four-year-olds.

In the same age group in Denmark, just 74 per cent were fully immunised, 86 per cent for one-year-olds and 70 per cent for two-year-olds.

AMA WA president Dr Omar Khorshid conceded that childhood vaccination rates in the southern regions of WA were so low.

“The majority of WA parents understand the importance of immunisations and are willing to vaccinate their child,” he said.

“Vaccine-refuser parents make up a tiny fraction of all WA parents but they do need to understand the risk they are taking on behalf of their children and other non-immunised children such as very young babies. The AMA continues to strongly campaign to increase childhood vaccination rates to 95 per cent and beyond.

“It is this level of penetration that is required to protect the whole community against the most infectious diseases like whooping cough and measles.”

Dr Khorshid said the benefits of immunisation could not be overstated, adding many infectious diseases that had killed millions over the ages had been reduced because of vaccines.

“As an example, poliomyelitis has killed and harmed the lives of millions of people over thousands of years,” he said.

“Polio cases have decreased by over 99 per cent since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries then, to 37 reported cases in 2016,” he said.

Dr Khorshid said there were a number of reasons why a child might fall behind on their vaccination schedule.

“The message is very clear, though: immunisation is safe and effective at protecting us all from serious and deadly infectious diseases,” he said.

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