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No vaccination, no child care

CARERS’ CONCERNS: Co-director of Care-Ring Children’s Centre Liz Gray is concerned about the impact on carers of a proposal to allow child care centres to exclude non-vaccinated children.
CARERS’ CONCERNS: Co-director of Care-Ring Children’s Centre Liz Gray is concerned about the impact on carers of a proposal to allow child care centres to exclude non-vaccinated children. Cathy Adams

UNVACCINATED children could be barred from child care centres across NSW if changes to legislation are passed in state parliament.

Proposed changes to the Public Health Act giving child care centres the power to refuse unvaccinated children will be introduced to parliament this week by opposition leader John Robertson.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said she supported the changes and would try to get them implemented in this parliamentary sitting.

"Any change would have to allow for special consideration where there is a medical contra-indication to vaccination or a genuine objection on grounds such as religious beliefs," she said.

We need at least 85-90% of children vaccinated to achieve herd immunity so there is enough people immunised so the spread of infectious disease does not occur

Concerns have been raised that if changes to the act are implemented, childcare workers will have to police the issue, and tell parents their unvaccinated children can't be accepted into care.

Mr Robertson has denied claims the proposed changes discriminated against unvaccinated families.

He said amendments to the act were aimed at encouraging parents to vaccinate children to help stop the spread of preventable diseases.

Lismore pediatrician Dr Chris Ingall said he would support amendments to the legislation if it was the only way to help raise the rates of vaccination in children.

"We need at least 85-90% of children vaccinated to achieve herd immunity so there is enough people immunised so the spread of infectious disease does not occur," Dr Ingall said

He said there was a lot of misinformation circulating about vaccination which influenced parent decisions.

"Places like Mullumbimby, Nimbin and Byron Bay only have 60% to 70% of children vaccinated."

"As a region we are a sitting duck for measles and whooping cough outbreaks."

A spokesman for the child care union United Voice said the union would consult its members over the next few weeks to determine its position on the proposed changes to the legislation.

Should unvaccinated children be banned from childcare?

This poll ended on 23 May 2013.

Current Results

Yes

60%

No

39%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  child care nsw government vaccination


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