'Vaccination saves lives': Doctors turning their back on unimmunised kids

Sam Hussey

Australian doctors are turning their back on one in four unvaccinated children under the age of six.

Alarming new statistics showed that many health care providers were not willing to treat young children with out of date immunisations at the risk of harming other patients.

Dr Anthea Rhodes, who led the study by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne insisted that “all children, regardless of their vaccination status, have an equal right to health care”.

“While some people may feel they can understand the reasons for doctors and other healthcare providers thinking twice about whether they will treat unvaccinated kids, we have to remember these children are not making that decision for themselves,” she told News Corp.

Seventy per cent of parents taking part in the health poll said they would pull their children from school if they knew there was a risk from unvaccinated children. Source: AAP

“By turning them away, healthcare providers not only deny health care to a child but remove the possibility of educating parents and helping them to eventually choose to vaccinate.”

Of the 3,492 children taking part in the Australian Child Health Poll, 95 per cent were fully immunised.

Remarkably, further figures showed that 10 per cent of parents still believed vaccinations could cause autism.

Earlier this year, the South Australian state government announced that children whose vaccinations were not up to date would be made to stay home from preschools and childcare centres if there is an outbreak of illness.

Australian Medical Association (SA) vice-president Dr William Tam encouraged all doctors to fulfill their duty as trusted health professionals and not turn their back on vaccine-seeking children.

“It’s simple, vaccination saves lives ... and if people aren’t doing it, we need to look at why and we need to help change that,” Dr Tam said.

Pauline Hanson's anti-vaccination comments have infuriated doctors. Photo: AAP

The report comes just days after One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson described the “no jab, no play” policy as nothing more than a dictatorship.

Hanson had claimed vaccinations could cause autism, but those comments were quickly labelled as “rubbish” and “insulting” by medical experts.

Unsurprisingly, her stance was not a popular one, with 70 per cent saying they would reconsider sending their children to school if they would be in the presence of unvaccinated children.

"We've gotta hear less of this rubbish,” Dr Michael Gannon from the Australian Medical Association told 7 News.

"She's not only wrong, she's insulting when she links autism spectrum disorder to MMR vaccination."