Anti-vax ad spend detailed
The Federal Government is spending millions on advertising to fight anti-vaccination campaigns.
A $12 million national television advertising blitz is being launched to reinforce the health benefits of the nation's immunisation program.
The current ‘Get the Facts’ immunisation campaign will be expanded into national television advertising, bringing the total investment in the campaign to $20 million over six years.
The Government has also released the National Immunisation Strategy 2019–24, which includes eight priority areas for action by governments, health providers and the community, to complement and strengthen the National Immunisation Program with the aim of maximising immunisation coverage in people of all ages.
“I am proud to say that Australia’s child immunisation rates are at record levels,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
“The latest data shows the nationwide immunisation rate for five-year-olds was 94.62 per cent, which is the highest figure on record. This is very close to the 95 per cent herd immunity we aim to achieve.
“More than 96.6 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five year olds were immunised, which is well above the national average.
“I am a strong supporter of our vaccination program and last year we increased protection for Australians from vaccine preventable diseases with the addition of a number of new vaccines on the National Immunisation Program.
“Young Australians now receive better protection against Human papillomavirus, with the introduction of a new vaccine protecting against 9 types of the virus.
“People aged over 65 were able to access new, advanced seasonal influenza vaccines, fast-tracked to be available for the 2018 flu season.”
The Government is also offering free flu vaccinations to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under the age of 14.
“As a result of this measure, almost 170,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents aged five to 14 years of age will now be able to access an influenza vaccine at no cost,” Mr Hunt said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a significantly higher burden from influenza infection and are much more likely to be hospitalised with this disease.
“This means all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 6 months of age to 14-year-olds will now be able to receive a seasonal influenza vaccine at no cost through our national program, making it easier for parents and providers. “
The announcement follows a recommendation from the independent medical experts at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and should contribute to the Government’s Close the Gap agenda.