Vaccination in Tasmania - the real point

The 2012-13 Report for the National Partnership Agreement on Essential Vaccines shows Tasmania has performed well.

Our vaccination rates for young Aboriginal children were the second highest in the country, reaching over 90 per cent for all ages from 12 months to four years.

The proportion of all Tasmanian children who received all their four year-old vaccines was over 92 per cent, the third highest in the country.

One of the Report benchmarks is increasing vaccination coverage in low immunisation areas. Because Tasmania has a good record of high vaccination coverage this benchmark was set fairly high – up to seven per cent higher than for other states.

Tasmania performed well in one category with a five per cent improvement (to just under 90 per cent) for vaccine coverage at age 12 months in one low coverage area.

However, the vaccine coverage of four-year-olds fell slightly in the same area to just over 87 per cent, slightly short of the 88 per cent benchmark for Tasmania. By comparison the benchmark for low coverage areas for this age group was only 82 per cent in New South Wales and 81 per cent in Western Australia.

The small numbers of children involved in assessing these benchmarks in Tasmania means as few as three or four children can make the difference between achieving and failing these benchmarks.

Vaccination is widely accepted by Tasmanians as a familiar and important way to protect their children from many potentially serious infectious diseases, and the state is performing very well by any measurement.

10 October 2013