Australia

Government to spend extra $12m on national ad blitz to counter anti-vaxxers

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The federal government is launching a national television advertising campaign to spruik the benefits of immunisation.

A national television advertising blitz is being launched to counter the misinformation spread by anti-vaccination campaigners.

The federal government will spend an extra $12 million over the next three years to reinforce the health benefits of the nation's immunisation program.

"Vaccination safeguards Australians against disease," Minister Hunt said in a media statement.

"It is a powerful tool that is safe and effective to prevent the spread of many diseases that can cause serious ongoing health conditions and sometimes death."

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What is herd immunity?
What is herd immunity?

Australia's child immunisation rate for five-year-olds is at 94.62 per cent - the highest figure on record.  

More than 96.6 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five-year-olds have been immunised.

Meanwhile, the government will also offer free flu vaccinations to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under the age of 14, who are more likely than non-indigenous kids to be hospitalised with the disease.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a significantly higher burden from influenza infection and are much more likely to be hospitalised with this disease," Mr Hunt said.

"As a result of this measure, almost 170,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents aged five to 14 years of age will now be able to access an influenza vaccine at no cost."

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