Australia's 'No Jab, No Pay' Policy Prompts More Parents To Vaccinate Kids

"Parents who don’t immunize their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people."

Even though vaccinations have been a topic of debate for several years, research has shown over and over again that vaccinations do not have harmful effects. Still, there are many myths about vaccinations being perpetuated. In an effort to dispel misinformation, and prompt parents to vaccinate their children, The National Immunization Program in Australia has enforced policies to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. 

The policies are "aimed at improving vaccination rates and reducing the spread of vaccine preventable disease." The "No Jab, No Pay" policy means families with kids who do not have up-to-date vaccines will no longer be eligible for childcare welfare benefits.

The policy was later updated so that families with children who aren't fully vaccinated would lose their Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement, which is worth A$737 (approximately $550).

In an updated policy beginning July 2, 2018, families will now lose A$28 (approximately $21), biweekly from their Family Tax Benefit Part A credit. The fine works out to about the same cost as the original lump sum deduction, but the government is hoping it will resonate more.

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"Parents who don’t immunize their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people," the Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said in a statement. He added that this new policy update is meant to serve as a "constant reminder."

As of March 2018, data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows immunization rates were on the rise across the entire country. SBS World News reported that from 2015 to 2016, 92.9 percent of 5-year-olds were fully immunized. From 2016 to 2017, it was 93.5 percent. Detailed data of different regions shows that majority of places are in the 90's while a few in the high 80s.

(H/T: Popsugar)

Cover image via  didesign021 I Shutterstock

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