Immunisation critical for our health

This World Immunisation Week, WA Primary health Alliance is reminding Western Australians about the importance of vaccinations.

Immunisation saves approximately two million lives every year and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective advances in global public health.

With Australia in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination program, this message is particularly important.

While this work is critical in ensuring Australians are protected against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure usual vaccinations, including flu vaccinations, are not missed.

Flu is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause widespread illness and deaths every year. Vaccination is our best defence against flu viruses.

Additionally, some parents continue to delay or refuse to have their child or children vaccinated for conditions such as measles, whooping cough and diphtheria.

WA Primary Health Alliance Acting General Manager Primary Care Innovation and Development, Lucy Patel said having a critical mass of the population immunised was critical to containing many diseases, which if left to spread unchecked, can have deadly consequences.

“We understand that at this time, some people are hesitant to be vaccinated, but it is even more important than ever that people keep up with their routine vaccinations, particularly flu as we come into winter and those routine childhood vaccinations.”

“GPs have a pivotal role in communicating with patients and parents regarding vaccinations and in providing clear, evidence-based vaccine information to help guide decision making,” she said.

To help reassure parents of young children, WA Primary Health Alliance last year launched an immunisation myths campaign, featuring a series of short videos debunking some of the myths around vaccinations and encouraging parents to seek further advice from their GP.

“Education and communication with parents will improve their knowledge and trust in vaccination, thereby improving vaccination compliance.”

General practices can find out more about the support we can provide them with childhood immunisation on our Practice Assist website.