500 kids a day on catch-up vaccines
THE phenomenal success of the No Jab, No Pay campaign has been revealed for the first time by new figures that show 500 children a day are being vaccinated.
The number of fully vaccinated five-year-olds has hit 94.85 per cent, the highest level ever, according to government statistics obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.
That represents 174,000 children across the country who have been treated since vaccination was linked to family benefit payments.
At the same time, the parents of 102,000 children have had their government benefits withheld because they ignored the rules.
A further 30,000 children are still within the 63day grace period given to parents to get their children’s shots up to date.
No Jab, No Pay was made law in 2016 after a Sunday Telegraph campaign. It strips parents of the fortnightly Family Tax Benefit supplement — worth up to $766.50 — for every child who does not meet the immunisation requirements. Benefits are restored as soon as a child is fully immunised.
Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said linking immunisation to benefit cuts was a powerful driver for families to make sure their children’s vaccinations were up to date. “We want parents to have confidence that they can take their children to school without the fear they will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness,” she said.
A state-by-state breakdown shows more than 50,000 children have lined up for vaccinations in NSW.