Free whooping cough booster shots for toddlers will re-start next month.

The Federal Government has announced it will re-introduce free whooping cough booster shots for toddlers from next month in order to combat a rise in cases across Queensland, reports 9 NEWS.

Queensland is facing a whooping cough surge, with up to five times as many cases brought to doctors in some regions, compared to the same period last year.

The Federal Government axed the free booster shot for 18 month olds in 2003, forcing parents to foot the bills themselves.

While those who have received the shot can still contract the illness, it is much riskier for those who have not been immunised, and Queensland Health said the free shot is important.

“It is more severe if you haven’t been vaccinated,” Kari Jarvinen, a public health physician, said.

Queensland’s Shadow Minister for Health, Mark McArdle, said the rise in cases cannot be brushed aside.

“We can’t ignore this,” he said.

“It is a major disease that affects very young children.”

Guidelines have also recently changed for pregnant women who now need to receive a booster shot for each of their pregnancies.

Catherine Hughes, mother of baby Riley who died after contracting whooping cough as a newborn has previously said:
“If I had been offered a whooping cough booster during pregnancy, there is a good chance Riley would still be with us today. Whooping cough boosters are now free for pregnant women in their third trimester in Australia, and recommended in every single pregnancy.”

“Antenatal care providers need to be recommending these boosters to every single pregnant patient. Antenatal hospitals need to have midwives who can vaccinate available, and not send people away to their GP, as this can lead to confusion or people forgetting. Anybody who has close, regular contact with a newborn also needs to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations,” Catherine says.

“Childhood vaccination does not begin when the child is six weeks. It now begins when the mother is pregnant. Please don’t forget to have your pregnancy vaccinations and protect your baby from this terrible disease.”

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  • I had my shot when I was on my third trimester. It was a bit confusing about if my husband needed or not to have a booster too. He had a shot just before our 2.8 year old was born. My OB at first asked him to have the booster, than when we went to the GP to have it they said he didn’t need to have the booster as it lasts for 5 years… Who is right, the OB or GP?


  • When we plan for our next baby i’m making sure the grandparents get immunised


  • Think all vaccinations should be free no matter what and all the time !


  • yeah this will enable more people to do this! hopefully this will make a difference


  • excellent idea as a Nanna I agee my adult sonsas babies had shots regularly, better to be safe than sorry as the saying goes. Measles, and other contagious and unessesary diseases, to stop them becoming an epidemic, prevention is better than care. So agree for diseases that scare


  • I am beyond glad that this is happening, finally something our government is getting right


  • That’s great that they are going to be free


  • Health and vaccines are a good area for the government to be spending money.


  • Vital shot to have! I had to pay for mine after I had my daughter. It cost $90. Best $90 I’ve ever spent, in my opinion!


  • This is great news. I’ve forgotten how much I had to pay for my booster but I was nursing my husband and two of our children through whooping cough and was advised it was the safest option to protect me too. Because of their previous vaccinations, their cases were much more mild than they could have been.


  • Glad they have reintroduced free booster but It should have always been free.


  • Very good. It’s the most sensible thing to do!


  • The Govt. should never have cancelled its Vaccination program. The sooner Govts. learn that health is a life, not a luxury not needed by taxpayers the better. We can’t attend and support events if we don’t have good health to do so.


  • Good. This is something I’m more than happy for my taxes to contribute to.

    • Happy for my taxes to be directed towards health too.


  • So glad to read this is happening – such a simple way to help prevent tragic loss of little lives.


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