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As part of a new national campaign which is designed to raise immunisation rates, grieving parents share the pain of losing their babies to the preventable diseases that took their lives.

The campaign hopes to fight the anti-vaxxer propaganda and help recover herd immunity.

News Corp report that the $5.5 million campaign deemed, “Get the Facts about Immunisation”, is packed with educational videos and handouts about diseases which can be prevented by vaccinations.

The government hopes to use social media platforms and childcare services to target areas where immunisation levels are low or where the highest amount of anti-vaxxer propaganda can be found.

While the nation’s immunisation rate has risen to 93 percent from 90 percent in 2011, there are still suburbs that have dangerously low rates of immunisation.

“It is these areas of low coverage which pose risks to the community, especially to people who can’t be vaccinated, like newborns and those with medical reasons,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told The Sunday Telegraph.

“Riley Hughes and Dana McCaffery were both only a month old when they died of a vaccine-preventable disease. They were both too young to be vaccinated, so like all other newborns, relied on the rest of the community being vaccinated to offer protection,” Mr Hunt said.

Greg and Catherine Hughes lost Riley from whooping cough in 2015. They have also campaigned to counter anti-vaccine sentiment, often becoming the target of abuse as a result.

“It’s always hard talking about our story, it was an emotionally difficult thing to do but one that is hopefully worthwhile. If I had received information about the pregnancy booster for whooping cough, Riley would still be here,” Mrs Hughes said.

Professor Ian Frazer also played a role in the campaign with fact-based evidence to dispel the many myths and lies spread online by ‘anti-vaccine zealots’, “Ensuring parents are fully informed about immunisation is vital in ensuring we increase the rates of immunisation across Australia in the 0 to 5 age group,” Prof Frazer said.

“Vaccines work to protect children against being infected by these diseases. A parent will never know when their child may come into contact with someone who has got one of these infections, so the best way to protect children from these diseases, is to make sure they’re fully immunised,” Prof Frazer said.

A new online resource has been developed, and can be accessed at immunisationfacts.gov.au

What do you think of the new campaign? Share your thoughts.

  • I had seven children. All were immunised. Each time they were immunised the nurse administering the immunisation made sure they gave the inform and answered any questions before and asked all parents to wait after the immunisation was given for 15 minutes, so they could monitor each child for any adverse reactions and then gave an information sheet to the parent / carer. I have noticed that this does not happen so much these days. Maybe if it did, parents would be better informed and not risk the health of any child, theirs or someone else’s. They also did not alienate children who had not been immunised, for what ever reason. It was just made known to the parents of those children, that if there was an outbreak of any childhood illness that they would be asked to keep their child/ren at home until the issue was gone. That was for the child’s health and no other reason. Just like they ask if your child has a temperature or is not well keep them at home, but how many people still send their children to child care when they are sick and spread it to others. It is about time people stop scare mongering and go back to looking after what is important, ………………the best for our kids!

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  • I think it’s a great idea but not sure how well it will work. Hopefully it does make a positive difference to the way some people think.

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  • I think it is a great idea, vaccination is SO important.

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  • Save the $5.5 mil on campaigning and just refuse government subsidies, entry to public schools and hospitals. Invest the $5.5 mil on education and health initiatives that benefit more of our population.

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  • Back in the late 1980s some School Principals were asking parents if their children had their vaccinations up to date. I know of one school in Adelaide where this was done.

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  • A great idea. We need to continue to educate people/parents to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. Any ONE child lost that could have been saved as a result of vaccinations is one too many – this is the reason why we must vaccinate our children.

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  • During pregnancy the doctors found I was low in a lot of things and gave me loads of boosters to things I never knew needed a booster or could get low.

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  • Please vaccinate. I just don’t get it why people don’t do it or when they need strong encouragement to do it. It’s a no-brainer in my mind.

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  • Shameful for people who’s not paying attention for there kids health

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  • It’s a shame we have to spend so much money on common sense stuff but if it helps it will be worth every dollar.

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  • I hope this gets to people, as I was struggling with getting my son his second round of immunisations; due to a servere reaction to the Whooping cough part of the immunisation.I asked the do the risks, he told me he could have an even more server reaction. I had seen a baby with whooping cough when my daughter was in hospital. It was awful, so I got him the second round of immunisation with a reduced amount of the whooping cough part. His reaction was the same . He will be protected by this, and. I am glad I said yes

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  • So glad this problem is being addressed and in such a positive way. Feel so sorry for those brave parents speaking up about losing their little ones because others were not vaccinated. Do hope this campaign works well.

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  • We can only hope it works, so frustrating knowing how easily these could have been prevented

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  • I think, as heartbreaking as the topic is, this campaign will speak to people’s hearts and minds.


    • I agree – it sounds like a smart campaign.

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  • Such brave parents, and such a worthwhile campaign.

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