Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is working with Monash and Yarra Ranges Councils to help boost immunisation rates of children aged 24-27 months. The immunisation rates in both areas average less than 90 per cent for this age group, which is below the ideal immunity rate of 95 per cent.
Both councils have just begun their expanded immunisation programs, including contacting families with children overdue for immunisation, immunising people in the community, education, and using apps and online booking systems to make immunisation easier.
Federal Member for Casey Hon Tony Smith MP said improving immunisation rates is a must for the health of our community.
“Making sure children in our community are immunised is an important building block for their health and the health of everyone living in the Yarra Ranges,” he said.
EMPHN CEO Robin Whyte said the councils are using a number of methods to overcome common barriers to immunisation in this age group.
“There are many reasons why immunisations are missed, including parents being busy, health literacy gaps and issues with access,” she said.
Yarra Ranges Council Mayor Cr Len Cox said the council will be using data and technology to help raise the immunisation rate.
“Our immunisation rate for five year old children is over 95 per cent, which is fantastic, but we know there’s more work to be done for younger children in the community,” Cr Cox said.
“We’re using information from The Australian Immunisation Register to find out who is overdue and we’ll be reminding parents to book an immunisation session using SMS reminders,” he said.
City of Monash Mayor Cr Paul Klisaris said a key part of immunisation in Monash is making services easy to access for people who speak a language other than English.
“We have posters and information flyers produced in multiple languages to help inform parents about how important immunisation is and how they can book into a session,” he said.
This initiative is funded by the Australian Government under the PHN program.
For more information about the immunisation services: City of Monash - https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Services/Children-Family/Immunisation or call (03) 9518 3555.
Yarra Ranges Council - https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Community/Immunisation or call 1300 368 333.
Media enquiries: Ellie Cope firstname.lastname@example.org 0488 382 033
About EMPHN: Eastern Melbourne PHN is a Primary Health Network funded by the Australian Government to improve the care and support people receive from health services. We aim to improve the health of our community by ensuring people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time. www.emphn.org.au