THE Wellington Shire municipality has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state, with 97.76 per cent of children fully immunised.
All but one Gippsland local government area, Bass Coast Shire, has hit the herd immunity target of 95 per cent — the best immunisation coverage in history.
Baw Baw Shire has a vaccination rate of 95.36 per cent, East Gippsland Shire 95.08, Latrobe City 97.66, South Gippsland Shire 95.65, and Bass Coast Shire 94.62.
Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register showed about 95 per cent per cent of five-year-olds in the local community were now fully immunised.
The government attributes the figures to the introduction of ‘no jab, no play’ laws, saying there had been a consistent increase in immunisation rates for Victorian children.
Victoria’s immunisation rate has risen from 93 per cent in 2016, and at 95.3 per cent is the third highest rate in Australia behind Tasmania and the ACT.
Across Australia the rate is 94.5 per cent.
The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is considered necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.
High rates of vaccination help protect those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said there was no debate.
“Immunisation is safe, effective and saves lives,” she said.
“Despite rogue practitioners still trying to tout misinformation, Victorian parents are listening to science — and that’s great news.”
The government has strengthened the no jab, no play laws further, so that only immunisation history statements from the Australian immunisation register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation, and as evidence of medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling children in childcare or kindergarten.
No other document will be accepted.
The aim is to eliminate the risk of potentially false vaccination exemptions being written up, and simplify the enrolment process for early childhood providers.