Health experts and School Nurses are worried about parents failing to give consent for students to be vaccinated against potentially deadly infections.
The West Australian reported that child health researchers partly blame apathy for the lack of interest in top-up vaccines, as well as students not bringing consent forms home from school or parents not returning them.
Parents may be getting information from anti-vaccination websites that make misleading claims about side effects.
West Australian schools sent home forms for the Year 8 vaccination program, which includes a booster against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and chickenpox, and the human papilloma virus vaccine, which protects against several cancers and genital infections.
A survey by drug company bioCSL found one-third of parents did not know free vaccinations were offered in high school, while others did not realise they had to give their consent.
Many said they would use Google for information about vaccination instead of a school nurse.
Parents generally seem to associate vaccination programs with young children, but the school-based program is equally as important as the one for infants.
There is evidence that 12 and 13-year-olds require boosters earlier and more regularly than previously thought.
If they are not vaccinated on time, their immunity can wane, with serious repercussions.