The western suburbs of Sydney have among the lowest rates of immunisation in Australia, while affluent suburbs throughout Sydney are still failing to meet the government target.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the latest data from the National Health Performance Authority shows that in areas of intrenched anti-vaccination sentiment, there has been little change in four years.

Immunisation rates across Australia, however, have improved between 2013 – 2015 overall.  The immunisation rate among one-year-olds alone has risen from 90.4 per cent to 91.3 per cent.

Brunswick Heads on the NSW North Coast had the lowest rate of immunisation in Australia, with just 73.3 per cent of one-year-olds immunised, followed by Parramatta and Harris Park, where the immunisation rate was 75.8 and Katoomba, Leura and Medlow Bath, with 76.8 per cent.

In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Diane Watson from the National Health Performance Authority said the risk posed by low immunisation rates correlated to poor levels of immunity and parents should be concerned if they live in these low immunisation areas.

“We’re starting to see improvements in immunisation rates in some communities but we still see communities where immunisation rates are not high enough to ensure that disease can’t spread,” Dr Watson said, “For one-year-olds, rates can be as high as 98 per cent but can be as low as in the 70s and those would be the communities in which children are the most vulnerable.”

Across Australia, 1200 postcodes did not meet the national immunisation target for 95 per cent of children to be immunised.

Dulwich Hill had one of the highest immunisation rates in Australia, with 97.3 per cent of one-year-olds immunised.

National Centre of Immunisation Research director Peter McIntyre said pockets of anti-vaccination attitudes in places such as the North Coast of NSW and south-east Queensland had kept immunisation rates low in those places and this had barely changed.

Programs such as a drive to boost immunisation provided by the Government, had improved the immunisation rate overall, Professor McIntyre said.

“About three times as many people have not got all the vaccines they’re supposed to, and in almost all these cases it’s problems with access to services, large families, single parent families, all the things that make it difficult to get to a clinic.”

Image source: Getty Images

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  • yeah i just don’t know why people treat this like a choice. do it, save your child and others!


  • Many of these are families that actively choose not to vaccinate.


  • Interesting statistics especially in Sydney suburbs


  • My 2 year old attends child care in a very wealthy Melbourne suburb. Just this week we had a confirmed case of Measles in his room at the centre. Whilst my 2 year old is immunised, I am 36 weeks pregnant and there will be situations when I will need to take our newborn baby with me to drop my son off at child care. This scares me because our baby will be too young to be immunised but we now know that there is in all likeliehood at least one, if not more, unimmunised children at the centre. I never wanted to be one of those Mums that is over protective of their children but unfortunately it seems that now I will need to think carefully before letting another child, and even adults, near my little baby if I can’t be sure whether or not they have been vaccinated against things that could be deadly to a newborn.

    • You are absolutely right. It’s a right you just can’t take!


  • Amazing when you consider that so many children died, ended up with brain damage, etc and then we had breakthroughs with vaccines and so all kids were being vaccinated and that health issues vanished and now we are going backwards.


  • Its quite amazing how many children aren’t being immunised, it really shouldn’t be this big a number. Especially now that it is so easily accessible.


  • 1200 postcodes is still a lot! I hope we will see an increase in immunisation rate very soon!


  • Immunisation is so very important. Lets hope the rate increases with positive and grass roots awareness campaigns.


  • Lke hz


  • I’d be interested to know the postcodes involved. I’m a big believer in immunisations and I can’t understand parents not wanting to protect their children against such terrible diseases.

    • Did you read my mind? I wonder if they know how many children are actually in those areas as their estimates may not be accurate. Some have a “drifting” population – their numbers are seasonal. Some with children live in a couple of places throughout the year. They go where work is available. Therefore, how can they get an accurate figure for some areas. When my niece started school in the 1980s her parents had to fill in some paperwork at the school beforehand, they were asked by the School Principal whether she had been vaccinated and whether they were up to date.


  • There’s no excuse for not getting your child to a clinic or doctor’s office to receive vaccinations. Parents need to get their priorities straight.


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