NATION Jabs to be given for free
A HITLIST of under- vaccinated youth and refugees will today spark the Turnbull Government to announce new free shots to help stave- off deadly diseases.
More than 100,000 Queenslanders aged 10- 19 years have been identified by the Government as having missed key vaccinations, the second highest in the country, just behind NSW.
At present, if vaccinations are missed when provided at schools, parents have to pay for them.
For the first time, refugees and humanitarian entrants of any age will also be eligible for the free jabs, to inoculate against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal and human papillomavirus.
The National Immunisation Program ( NIP) will be expanded to include about 11,000 refugees.
Babies and young children in Queensland continue to be struck down by the shocking illnesses because too many parents have refused to vaccinate their children or the herd immunity in their area is at lower levels.
In Queensland, the top five local areas with the most under- vaccinated residents include the Gold Coast’s Ormeau/ Oxenford ( with 4197 people); Townsville ( 3063); Springfield/ Redbank in Ipswich ( 2953); Logan’s Springwood/ Kingston ( 2681) and Forrest Lake/ Oxley in Brisbane’s southwest.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the program’s expansion would save lives.
“Immunisation is a simple, safe and highly effective way to protect children and adults from preventable diseases,’’ Mr Hunt said.