Childhood immunisation rates rise despite impact of COVID-19 pandemic

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Health minister Greg Hunt says more Australians have been vaccinating their children despite the pandemic with new figures showing four quarters of growth in all childhood coverage rates to September 2020.

This is the highest on record, he said. The highest rates of vaccination are among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at five years - at more than 97 per cent.

Mr Hunt said the coverage rate for all five-year-olds continues to grow towards the 95 per cent target. In the year to September 2020, it reached 94.9 per cent.

Among all two-year-old children, the coverage rate has risen to almost 92.4 per cent, which is the first time it has climbed above 92 per cent since 2014. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander two-year-old vaccination rate has also risen to almost 91.2 per cent in the current quarter.

The overall vaccination rate for one-year-olds has also increased in the last twelve months, reaching 94.7 per cent, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander one-year-old vaccination rate increased to 93.5 per cent.

"As we remain focused on COVID-19, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the other preventable diseases with which Australian families must contend," said Mr Hune.

"Our vaccines in the National Immunisation Program are safe, effective and provide a key national response to save and protect young lives."