The Queensland Government’s new immunisation strategy will target adolescent immunisation rates through the school immunisation program.
Premier Campbell Newman said the public benefits of the school-based program were enormous and provided a convenient way for adolescents to be protected against serious infectious diseases.
“We vaccinate adolescents at school to protect them against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough,” Mr Newman said.
“We also provide the HPV vaccine to protect against a range of cancers, including cervical cancer.
“As part of the overall strategy, we will work closely with school immunisation providers, the education sector and GPs to lift the immunisation rate for adolescents to 85 per cent.”
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said it was important to achieve high immunisation rates to protect others unable to be vaccinated because of health conditions.
“A range of new measures will help us improve adolescent vaccination rates including revised consent forms and providing GPs with easier access to vaccines offered in the school program,” Mr Springborg said.
“The vaccine to protect against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) has been available as part of the Queensland school immunisation program for females since 2007, and then became available for boys through the program at the beginning of 2013.”
“Data from the 2013 program shows that only 52 per cent of year 10 males completed the full three-dose course of HPV vaccine.
“This is a significant drop compared to the year-eight cohort where 63 per cent of male students had received their full course of HPV vaccinations in the school program.
“To receive the full course of HPV vaccinations at no cost, boys must receive all three doses before the end of year 11.
The Health Minister said vaccination was the single most effective way of protecting our communities from preventable conditions.
To read the strategy, visit the Queensland Government’s publication portal at https://publications.qld.gov.au/ and search for immunisation.
For more information on immunisation visit the Queensland Government website: www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/immunisation/index.html