Ararat has high immunisation rate

Region - Ararat has the second highest percentage of fully immunised five-year-olds in the Grampians Medicare Local region.

Grampians Medicare Local has welcomed the findings of the latest National Health Performance Authority Report on immunisation rates for children that show an overall increase in the percentage of children who are fully immunised in the region.

Immunisation rates for children aged two and five years of age increased across the region, with rates for one year olds reducing slightly.

The report highlights that over the year, two-year-old immunisation rates have increased from 94.2 per cent to 94.5 per cent. For five-year-old children the rate has increased from 92.5 per cent of children being fully immunised to 93.1 percent of children.

In line with most other areas across Australia, the largest increases in immunisation levels of the year were for five-year-old children.

Within the Grampians Medicare Local region Horsham had the highest percentage of fully immunised five-year-olds (96.9 per cent), followed by Ararat (94.1 per cent), Ballarat (93.7 per cent) and Hepburn (77.3 per cent).

The Grampians region has the highest rate in the country of one-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are fully immunised, with 96.9 per cent, compared to an Australian-wide average of 85.2 per cent. The region also has higher than average rates for fully immunised two-year-old (94.3 per cent) and five year-old (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (97.8 per cent).

According to Grampians Medicare Local spokesperson Michelle MacGillvray, the report shows the impact that is being made by the efforts of immunisation service providers to promote the vital role that immunisation plays in reducing the risk and incidence of disease in the community.

"Immunisation provided by Local Government Area service providers and general practices in our region have continued to provide consistent and accessible services and education in the community on the importance of parents ensuring their children are fully immunised," she said.

"Some areas in the region however have lower rates than national averages due to a range of factors including personal or cultural reasons. There is still inaccurate information being sourced from the internet and we encourage people to have a conversation with their health professional, GP, maternal and child health nurse or nurse immuniser to gain a better understanding on the possible implications of not immunising their child."

The report is the first time figures have been tabulated for girls turning 15 who took part in the school-based human papillomavirus (HPV) program.

Rates for the Grampians region (73 per cent) were higher than the national average (70 per cent).

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