AUSTRALIA has the world’s most common types of vaccines, with around 3.7 million doses being administered every day.
However, a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIFW) says the number of vaccines administered each day is likely to fall, and the overall vaccination rate may even decline.
The report found that around 70 per cent of Australian children and adolescents received one of four vaccines: pertussis (whooping cough), rotavirus, tetanus and diphtheria.
The AIFW also found that the average age of immunisation for children in Australia was 9.3 years, compared with 11.4 years in other OECD countries.
But, despite these figures, the AIFAW’s executive director, David Haines, said the report’s findings were disappointing.
“It’s concerning to see that the proportion of vaccinations in the population is decreasing,” Mr Hainestes said.
“The overall vaccination coverage is also declining.”
We are in the midst of a vaccine shortage and the rate of vaccination in the country is falling.
“People are getting older, and there are a lot of seniors who are being vaccinated for a number of different diseases, not just for pertussas, rotaviruses and tetanus, but for diseases that we are currently not adequately vaccinated against.”
Dr Hainnes said the number and types of vaccinations needed for Australia to maintain a healthy population was high.
“There’s been a number, we’re not sure of how many, of the vaccinations that are in place in Australia and the number that are necessary to maintain healthy populations are very high,” he said.
He said the current vaccination strategy, which includes vaccination against hepatitis B and hepatitis C, was also a challenge.
“In some ways, it’s probably the worst strategy we’ve ever seen in terms of the numbers of vaccines that are required to maintain safe populations,” he explained.
“You can only get so many shots of the vaccine and the only way to achieve that is to vaccinate so many people that you’ve got to do everything you can to get them all, and that’s a real challenge.”
The AIMW also said it was concerned about the current vaccine schedule, with a planned new immunisation schedule being announced in September.
“These schedules are a significant step backwards in terms in terms a timeframe, in terms the vaccines that you get, the types of vaccine, the duration of vaccination, the vaccine requirements, the requirements to be immunised for a long period of time, the availability of the vaccines, the amount of vaccine required,” Dr Haineth said.
“We are very concerned about what this will mean for our health.”
He said he hoped that the current vaccines schedule would eventually change, and would see more Australians getting their first shots.
“I think it’s a very big challenge to be able to get into a hospital in this country, to be vaccinated against a disease that we know is very serious,” Dr Fain said.
Topics:vaccines-and-immunity,vaccination-facilities,health,federal—state-issues,health-policy,australiaFirst posted April 21, 2020 09:17:15Contact Anna Mather