ANTI-VAX KINDER LOOPHOLE CLOSED
ANTI-VAX families will no longer be able to enrol unvaccinated children in kindergartens and childcare centres without proof of serious medical conditions under a strict tightening of Victoria’s “nojab, no-play” laws.
Loopholes allowing families to enrol unvaccinated children with the backing of sympathetic doctors will be closed after an anti-vax GP network was revealed.
Legislation being introduced today by the State Government will mean letters and documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers will no longer be considered proof of immunisation.
In measures to be phased in next year, only official immunisation history statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of a medical reason why a child is not immunised.
Parents and childcare centres will also be audited to ensure enrolments are up to date with the immunisation schedule, with those who miss vaccinations required to catch up.
The changes follow the exposure of a cell of anti-vax doctors who were allegedly exploiting gaps in vaccination laws.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy is determined to ensure rogue practitioners cannot make false statements about a child’s ability to be immunised.
“We make no apologies for cracking down on rogue doctors who don’t put the health of our community first,” Ms Hen- nessy said. “The science is crystal clear — vaccinations are safe and save lives (and) people who tout misinformation about immunisation are a menace and put the health and safety of children at risk.
“That’s why we want as many children as possible immunised and protected from life-threatening illnesses.”
Victoria achieved its highest immunisation rate last month, with almost 95 per cent of fiveyear-olds covered, but the measures are hoped to increase vaccination rates.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the early childhood sector would be consulted to determine appropriate intervals for making vaccination checks.
Ms Mikakos said the changes would simplify enrolments because they would no longer have to consider a range of documents.
“Our no-jab, no-play laws are here to stay,” she said.
“Immunising your child not only protects you and your family, but other children in the community.”