When the vaccination message loses potency

Reading the headlines, it would be easy to believe childhood vaccination rates are declining in Australia, due to an increasing trend towards distrust of vaccines among parents. The Conversation

In fact, vaccination rates in Australia have been high and stable, hovering between 91% and 93% since 2003. Only 7% of children living in Australia are not fully vaccinated. This includes children who are not vaccinated at all and those who are partially vaccinated.

Among the 7% of children who are not or not fully vaccinated across Australia, more than half have been prevented from accessing vaccination by some practical barrier. Perhaps the family can’t afford to register or repair the car this month, or has recently arrived from overseas and needs to start a complex schedule of catch-ups.

Less than half of that 7% are not fully-vaccinated because their parents are so worried about the safety of vaccination, they reject some or all vaccines.

Concern about incomplete vaccination

Although the numbers are small, there are good reasons to be concerned about parents who don’t vaccinate their children, or who delay getting their children’s vaccinations.