The Health Minister has slammed parents who choose to get vaccination information from “crackpots on the internet” as immunisation rates fall in some Victorian suburbs.
Health officials are concerned a number of Melbourne parents still refuse to vaccinate their children, and maintain those children will be refused entry to childcare centres and kindergartens.
“We’ve made some really terrific strides since we introduced our ‘no jab, no play’ policy,” Minister Jill Hennessy said.
“Get your information from GPs, not from crackpots on the internet.
“This is not just the health of your child but everyone’s children.”
The comments come as the government launches a new campaign designed to boost immunisation rates.
In some Melbourne suburbs, immunisation rates for children under five have fallen to below 90 per cent.
“We need to get to that magic 95 per cent immunity rate,” Ms Hennessy said.
“That’s what protects other people in our community from these preventable illnesses.
“Our message to parents is really simple – vaccinate your children.”
Melbourne mother Caitlin Mara echoed Ms Hennessy’s comments, as her 15-month-old son battles to stay healthy.
“(Sonny’s) body doesn’t respond to vaccinations,” Ms Mara said, adding her son was born was a rare immunity deficiency disorder.
“We believe it’s important for others to immunise to keep the community healthy and to help keep Sonny as healthy as he can be.”
Ms Hennessy said the best advice for parents was to get the correct information.
“Do not underestimate how organised the anti vaccination movement are,” the Health Minister said.
“They are international and represent, in my view, a very serious threat to the health and wellbeing of children.”
The new ‘Immunity for Community’ commercials will officially air from next week.