Top immunisation marks for Valley

LATROBE City parents are adhering to government messages to immunise their children, with 95.2 per cent of five year-olds fully immunised in 2013 – two per cent above the state level.

State Health Minister David Davis recently announced the government’s goal to bring the state’s immunisation rates of children entering school up from 93 per cent in 2013 to 95 per cent by 2015.

Health department figures have shown Latrobe City has already hit the government’s target and more than 95 per cent of one and two year-olds were also fully immunised last year.

This contributes to the Gippsland-wide rate of 95 per cent of five year-olds fully immunised in 2013 – the second best rate in Victoria.

Mr Davis congratulated the families of Latrobe Valley and Latrobe City Council for the “excellent result”.

“Even though immunisation rates in the Valley exceed the (State) Government’s new overall statewide target, there’s no reason why we can’t all work together to drive the rate even higher,” Mr Davis said.

“Victoria is proud of its high immunisation rate, noting that a number of providers are involved, including general practitioners, councils, the health and education departments and child care providers.”

Latrobe Community Health Service general practitioner Dr Asad Khan said while he could not conclude why the area had such high immunisation rates, he believed it may be due to easy access to immunisation services.

“Families can access immunisation services through their doctors and local council,” Dr Khan said.

“We also believe there has been improved education about immunisation and its importance.”

LCHS primary health and ambulatory care executive director Rachel Strauss said like other Medicare Locals, Gippsland Medicare Local has also put in place a system to monitor children who have missed their next scheduled immunisation through the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

“They then contact the practice where the previous immunisation was given, who can then get in touch with the families,” Ms Strauss said.