Australia

'No jab, no play' laws linked to spike in Victoria's vaccination rate

Victorian laws forcing parents to have children vaccinated to be allowed into kindergarten are being credited for a rise in vaccination rates in the state.

Victoria's "no jab, no play" laws are being credited with the highest vaccination rates ever recorded in the state.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the laws helped to boost the immunisation rate to a 95.3 per cent average across the state.

"No jab, no play is a really important part that's essentially said to parents 'you've got to vaccinate your kids if you want to go to a childcare centre or kindergarten'," Ms Hennessy told reporters on Thursday.

The high rate of vaccination among five-year-olds means there is now "herd immunity" for that age group, meaning those who are not immunised will still be protected.

"We're delighted that we got to the holy grail rate of 95 per cent," Ms Hennesy said.

However the coalition opposition's health spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge said there is a loophole in the no-jab-no-play laws, leaving more than 70,000 children without immunisation.

Parents with health care , concession or Veterans' Affairs cards are exempt, Ms Wooldridge said.

"Victoria is the only jurisdiction with 'no jab' laws who allow an exemption for the concession care card holders," she added.

But the health minister said they are not exempt, but have a grace period of two weeks to allow the most vulnerable children to still access child care and get vaccinated.

"We do have a grace period around the no jab, no play laws to protect those who are particularly vulnerable, like kids that might be in child protection," she said.

Five-year-old getting vaccinated 

Highest rates in Melbourne metro (by council area):

  • Whittlesea - 97.69 per cent
  • Stonnington - 96.63 per cent
  • Knox - 96.12 per cent
  • Melton - 96.17 per cent

Lowest rates in Melbourne metro:

  • Melbourne - 88.21 per cent
  • Port Phillip - 92.43 per cent
  • Greater Dandenong - 92.13 per cent

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