Parents of students in Queensland’s Southern Downs schools are being urged to take advantage of the national School Immunisation Program.
According to a report in the Warwick Daily News, Queensland has a good track record with early childhood vaccinations, with more than 90 percent of children under five years being vaccinated in 2014. But new research has shown fewer than half (44.2 percent) of Australian parents of teens are aware Government-funded immunisations are available in secondary schools.
Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson said all secondary schools across Australia participated in the School Immunisation Program, including those in Warwick and the Darling Downs.
“This program allows parents or carers to have their children, who are in Years 7 and 8, vaccinated through their school at no cost,” Dr Hutchinson said.
“The recommended vaccines for Years 7 and 8 students in 2016 are human papillomavirus - three doses - diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, and chicken pox.
“It is very important that adolescents receive these vaccinations at the recommended age, time and dosage to avoid being infected themselves and to avoid spreading these potentially serious diseases to other community members.
“The dosages and times to have the immunisation are specifically designed to take advantage of the body’s immune system and to provide the very best protection for each individual.”
Schools provide information on the vaccination program via school newsletters and letters home to parents who then corresponded directly with the School Nurse.