Anti-vax schools a turn-off

Sunday Herald Sun - - NEWS - SUE DUN­LEVY

ONE in three par­ents would be re­luc­tant to en­rol their chil­dren in a school where there were high num­bers of un­vac­ci­nated chil­dren, an ex­clu­sive survey has re­vealed.

The Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment will from next year ban child­care cen­tres from en­rolling un­vac­ci­nated chil­dren where par­ents are con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tors. But this ban does not ex­tend to pri­mary schools.

Fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt says he would sup­port in­creased trans­parency on school vac­ci­na­tion rates.

“Al­though de­ci­sions re­gard­ing schools are a mat­ter for the states, we do sup­port tak­ing steps to boost im­mu­ni­sa­tion rates through greater trans­parency of im­mu­ni­sa­tion rates at schools,” a spokesman for Mr Hunt said.

A survey of more than 2000 par­ents with chil­dren un­der 12 found 30 per cent would avoid a school if it was in a low vac­ci­na­tion area. It was the fourth big­gest turnoff af­ter dis­tance, fees and low so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment this year pushed states to take a tougher stance on un­vac­ci­nated chil­dren in child­care.

Royal Aus­tralian Col­lege of GPs pres­i­dent Dr Bas­tian Sei­del said pe­nal­is­ing par­ents may force some to home­school.

“If you want to make a dif­fer­ence you need to open up a gen­uine di­a­logue with peo­ple and make sure par­ents are well in­formed,” he said.

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