New figures show the Federal Government’s tough No Jab, No Pay policy is working to boost the number of children vaccinated across Australia.
Since the policy was introduced on January 1 this year, almost 190,000 children who were not fully vaccinated are now up to date.
Mother-of-three Jenni Bate said she was determined to make sure her three children were up-to-date with their vaccinations.
“It’s safe, it’s effective. It’s a really good way to protect tour children,” she said.
Across Australia, immunisation rates are increasing with Social Services Minister Christian Porter happy with the progress.
“This is a remarkable improvement and a great success for government policy,” Mr Porter said.
Despite the progress, more than 86,000 families have been sanctioned for not meeting vaccination requirements around the country, losing childcare rebates in the process.
Given the sanctions, the Australian government has withheld payments worth a total $39 million, but Mr Porter says there is still a way for families to get the money back.
Those affected can claim suspended or cancelled payments by bringing their childrens’ vaccinations up-to-date.
One parent unhappy with the current scheme is Geneveive Allen-Voets.
Ms Allen-Voets said she was forced to stop her son’s vaccinations after the little boy suffered a reaction.
“For families like our who have a history of adverse reactions, there should not be compulsory vaccinations,” she said.
The Australian Medical Association said vaccinations were “extremely important” for children of all ages.
“We can’t take the safety and the health of our most vulnerable for granted,” Dr Tony Bartone said.