There is wide recognition that vaccines have made a significant contribution toward reducing the outbreak and spread of serious life threatening diseases. Related to this is recognition that the risk of unimmunised people contracting contagious diseases falls as the proportion of the population that is immunised, increases.
The Commonwealth has set targets to increase national immunisation rates as part of Australia’s commitment to achieve at least 90% national vaccination coverage by 2020 in line with the World Health Organisation’s Global Vaccine Action Plan.
In a state as geographically spread as WA, immunising high numbers of children and adolescents is a formidable challenge. My report assesses how well WA Health delivers immunisation services to children and adolescents.
I was pleased to see WA performing well against national immunisation targets. However, to perform as well as some other states, WA Health needs to connect with those children and adolescents unable or less likely to access mainstream health services.
My report also shows that, somewhat unexpectedly, immunisation rates in regional WA are higher than metropolitan Perth, indicating that there is still work to do.