A $3 million incentive to improve vaccination rates has been posted by the State Government in a bid to inspire local strategies that protect young Queenslanders.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said that while our state-wide vaccination rates are among the best in Australia, Queensland plans local strategies to lift rates of inoculation to a new level.
“Latest figures show Queensland is ahead of the national vaccination rate in all categories up to five years of age,” Mr Springborg said.
“So a key plank of the new vaccination strategy for Queensland is a bonus system to reward Hospital and Health Boards for effective strategies that boost local rates.
“From July 1, local hospital and health services that improve vaccination rates will be able to share part of the $3 million in additional funding.
“Current Queensland vaccination rates range from 90.7 per cent among babies aged 12-15 months to 92.8 per cent of five-year olds. The national equivalent rates are 89.7 per cent and 92 per cent respectively.”
Mr Springborg said the overall strength of the state-wide performance could be improved by concentrating on local vaccination levels.
“At 12 months, rates of full inoculation range from 85.7 per cent on the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula to 89.9 per cent on the Gold Coast and 92.9 per cent on Cape York,” he said.
“At five years, it varies from 89.6 per cent among children in North-West Queensland and 89.7 per cent on the Sunshine Coast to 96.4 per cent in the South West.
“Across Queensland, our wide range of communities, climates and cultures is best served through effective local strategies based on local knowledge.
“This was a key factor acknowledged by the LNP when it delivered local control to sixteen separate hospital and health services in 2012.
“Now we can utilise this local knowledge to improve our vaccination rates and reward local communities for the successful plans they develop.”
Mr Springborg said outreach services and tailored reminders aimed at parents and individual communities were among strategies that could be adopted by Hospital and Health Boards to improve local vaccination rates over the coming year.