New report finds childhood immunisation rates remain high in Northern Sydney

New report finds childhood immunisation rates remain high in Northern Sydney

27 March 2014

The new Healthy Communities report from the National Health Performance Authority finds 91 per cent of children in Northern Sydney are fully immunised.

Children under five years of age who live in the Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Hunters Hills and Ryde areas, which are all within the Northern Sydney Medicare Local catchment area, had an average immunisation rate of 91 per cent.

For the first time, the report provides information about uptake of a vaccine designed to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer and other diseases.

The release of the National Health Performance Authoritys Healthy Communities Immunisation rates for children in 2012-2013 report is the second time that a report into childhood immunisation based on the NSML catchment area has been provided. The data will assist NSML with targeting local community immunisation programs into the future.

In April 2013 NSML launched a local Immunisation Taskforce. Made up of public health professionals including Doctors, Registered Nurses and Council Immunisation Coordinators, and two local residents including a Parent and Childcare worker, the Taskforce meets quarterly.

The Immunisation Taskforces priority this year is to target areas in the NSML catchment that remain lower than average and to look closely into the reasons why, said Ms Cynthia Stanton, NSMLs Director of Primary Care and Integration. The report has found lowest immunisation rates in the catchment area are in East Killara and Killara.

The Taskforce has been working closely with the Public Health Unit who have employed a project officer to help target specific areas of low coverage.

While a 91 per cent immunisation rate is a huge achievement, we will continue to strive to improve rates to ensure the community remains protected from preventable diseases, said Ms Stanton.