Sunday, 28 August 2016
Failing To Meet Aspirational Health Targets: childhood immunisation rates on NSW North Coast lowest in Australia
There was only four Primary Health Network Areas in Australia which came near to meeting the aspiration health target of 95 per cent full childhood immunisation of all children by 5 years of age.
None of those areas were on the NSW North Coast. In fact North Coast Primary Health Network Areas had the lowest percentages of fully immunised children in Australia in 2014-15 – achieving only 89.2% by 5 years of age.
From the Clarence Valley to the Tweed there were 2,100 children (aged 1 to 5 years of age combined) who were not fully immunised. Only 167 of these children were Aboriginal-Torres Strait Islanders as the childhood immunisation percentage in this cohort is 95.1% by 5 years of age.
NSW Far North Coast
Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2014–15 - In Focus report released 18 February 2016:
In late 2014, the Australian Chief Medical Officer and all state and territory chief health officers agreed to an aspirational target for 95% of children to be fully immunised in line with the National Immunisation Program Schedule. The report shows that for 1-year-old children, rates are below 95% in all PHN areas, although this fact does not reflect on the performance of PHNs as they were set up after the period to which the data relate.
The report finds:
*90.9% of all children aged 1, 2 and 5 years were fully immunised and 9.1% (84,571) were not fully immunised, though rates vary across local areas
*89.2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 1, 2 and 5 years were fully immunised and 10.8% (4,922) were not fully immunised, though rates vary across local areas
*Immunisation rates for all 1 year olds ranged across PHN areas from 93.6% to 87.7% with a total of 26,671 children not fully immunised nationally. None of the 31 PHNs had immunisation rates of 95% or higher for this age group
*Immunisation rates for 2 year olds ranged across PHN areas from 92.3% to 86.7% with a total of 33,681 children not fully immunised nationally. None of the 31 PHNs had immunisation rates of 95% or above for this age group, although rates for 2 year olds may have been lower due to a recent change in the number of vaccines counted in the definition for ‘fully immunised’ 2 year olds
*Immunisation rates for 5 year olds ranged across PHN areas from 95.6% to 89.2% with a total of 24,219 children not fully immunised nationally. Only two of the 31 PHN areas had immunisation rates of 95% or higher for this age group
*Across smaller local areas (SA3s), among all 1-year-old children, 39 out of 324 local areas (SA3s) recorded a significant increase in immunisation rates, while only one area showed a significant decrease. Among 5 year olds, 16 SA3s showed an increase and six a decrease
*Immunisation rates for 1-year-old Indigenous children significantly increased in seven out of 49 geographic areas (SA4s) where data were available, and decreased in none.
Immunisation helps protect individuals and the community generally against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis). To be considered fully immunised, children need to have completed the immunisations appropriate for their age as set out in the National Immunisation Program Schedule by the time they turn 1, 2 and 5 years of age.
This release also includes a new interactive web tool that allows users to build their own graphs on immunisation data that interests them.