ACT News

Canberra's inner suburbs have the ACT's lowest vaccination rates for children

Kingston and Narrabundah are home to the capital's least immunised children, but ACT parents overall are among the most likely to immunise, new figures reveal.

Overall, the ACT is topped only by Murrumbidgee, NSW, and the Hunter and Central Coast, NSW, in Australia's three most immunised areas.

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The capital has the highest rates of immunisation rate in the country for one-year-olds, at 92.9 per cent, the National Health Performance Authority reports.

North Coast NSW recorded the lowest, with 87.7 per cent.

The ACT has some of the highest rates of children's immunisation in Australia.
The ACT has some of the highest rates of children's immunisation in Australia. Photo: Sharon Dominick

More than 91 per cent of the ACT's two-year-olds and five-year-olds are immunised, leaving 1256 children not immunised.

North Coast NSW again recorded the lowest rate for two-year-olds, with 86.2 per cent.


While it has some of the highest rates of immunisation in Australia, the figures revealed some territory parents don't immunise their children.

About 404 one-year-olds, 474 two-year-olds and 378 five-year-olds were not fully immunised in the year 2014-15. All increased on the year before, but the number of two-year-olds the most, with a jump of more than 100.

Kingston and Narrabundah (postcode 2604) had the lowest rates of immunisation for one-year-olds in Canberra, at 85.7 per cent. For two-year-olds it was 77 per cent, making the postcode's rates among Australia's lowest.

Lyons, Chifley, Phillip, Braddon, Campbell and Turner had the next lowest rates.

The capital ranked first in Australia for the rate of immunised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children, at 92.9 per cent.

The Gungahlin and Belconnen regions featured in the top 10 for immunisation Australia-wide rates for one-year-olds, at 94.4 per cent and 94.3 per cent respectively.

Assistant Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said this was a particularly good result, because of the many young families that choose to live in these areas.

But she reminded parents of staying up-to-date with their children's vaccinations.

"While this report highlights many positive results for the ACT, there is always room for improvement, and the beginning of the school year is a good time for parents to ensure children are up-to-date with all their immunisations."

Ms Fitzharris also reminded parents of the importance of vaccinations, which she said "have been repeatedly demonstrated to be one of the most effective interventions for protecting children from the devastating effects of vaccine preventable disease".

At suburb level, Fadden, Gowrie and Monash were among Australia's top 10 most immunised suburbs, with a 98 per cent rate of immunisation.

Crace. Mitchell and and Gungahlin joined those three to be among the ACT's most immunised suburbs.

Capital Health Network chairman Martin Liedvogel said the latest numbers showed the ACT continuing its trend of performing well on immunisation rates.

"It's a population that's quite able to make their own health decisions, and have decided to immunise their children against those preventable diseases," he said.

With reference to the capital's worst performing suburbs, Dr Liedvogel said with "any sort of lower numbers it would always be good to have a look at how we can support organisations that give vaccinations in those areas, to try and increase those numbers".

The capital didn't record a significant change in immunisation rates from 2013-14 to 2014-15. Conversely, country South Australia recorded an 8.2 per cent drop.

More than 90 per cent of all Australian children aged one, two and five years were fully immunised and 9.1 per cent, 84,571, were not fully immunised.

Overall, there was a drop in the number of one-year-old children not fully immunised from 29,717 in 2013-14 to 26,671 in 2014-15.

Authority CEO Diane Watson said it was important now to work on improving rates in areas that hadn't experienced change.

"Today's new information shows improvements in a number of communities protecting our youngest children and those ready to enter school," she said.

"But there remain vulnerable communities that need better protection."


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