District communities reach herd immunity

February 15, 2018

Strathbogie Shire is just one of six Victorian municipalities to have 100 per cent of its babies immunised under Victoria’s new ‘‘No Jab No Play’’ laws.

State immunisation figures, released last week, showed Strathbogie and Moira shires, along with the City of Greater Shepparton, had reached herd immunity — more than 95 per cent of babies vaccinated.

State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said immunisation was safe, effective and saved lives.

‘‘We are working on improving community across the state and parents are listening (and) this is why this year Victoria has smashed immunisation records with a 95.3 per cent result,’’ he said.

Benalla and Campaspe shires were two of 26 municipalities failing to meet herd immunity.

Campaspe was just below the target at 94.96 per cent, while Benalla was at 92.11 per cent.

‘‘There’s still more work to do in some areas of our state, and we’re going to continue working with parents, early childhood centres and the health sector to get the right information out there,’’ Victorian health minister Jill Hennessy said.

The Victorian Government had also encouraged the enrolment of children in vulnerable

circumstances under the ‘grace period’, which allowed for engagement with parents or care givers about vaccinations and presenting evidence immunisation works.

A government spokesperson said at least half of those enrolled under the grace period were fully vaccinated within a few months.

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