Parents of teens urged to look out for vaccine consent forms ‐ Check the school bags!
- Parents urged to find it, sign it, and return it as research shows one in five missed vaccinations are due to consent forms not being signed and returned to school1
- Parents are reminded high school children will bring home information about the 2014 school based immunisation program in the new school year
Australian parents of 12‐13 year olds in 2014 are being urged to check the school bag for information on the 2014 school based immunisation program. Depending upon State and Territory guidelines, vaccines may be offered for hepatitis B, chickenpox, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
According to recent research, the majority of parents (76%) confirm the only information they read about the vaccinations their child receives in high school is from the consent form.2 Recent Australian data has shown that almost 20% of missed vaccinations are as a result of parents not having received a consent form,1 therefore it is vital parents find it, sign it and return it if they want to continue to help protect their children against vaccine preventable disease.
“Of course, parents are inundated with information at the start of the school year and a child’s consent form may be scrunched up in the bottom of the school bag. It’s important parents keep an eye out for those consent forms that make their way home in school bags as only those with consent will be immunised,” said Professor Susan Sawyer, Professor of Adolescent Health, The University of Melbourne.
Whilst we are very good at vaccinating our children in early childhood, the fact that protecting them from disease continues well into their adolescent lives needs to be on the radar of all parents
explains Professor Sawyer.
The latest introduction to the school based immunisation program came last year when the Federal Government, expanded the existing HPV school‐based immunisation program for girls to include Australian boys aged 12‐13 years. Boys up to 15 years of age are also eligible to receive the vaccine in 2014 in the final year of the catch‐up program.
At the start of the new school year parents of teens are encouraged to find, sign and return their child’s immunisation consent form. Parents are urged to speak to their healthcare professional or visit immunise.health.gov.au for more information
About the school based immunisation program
Each year the school based immunisation program provides parents with the opportunity to have their child immunised with the recommended vaccines. The vaccines are provided free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and in most states are administered in the first year of high school when health professionals visit schools to administer the vaccines.
Under the school based immunisation program, the following vaccines may be offered: hepatitis B, varicella (chickenpox), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
From 2013, the Federal Government expanded the existing HPV school‐based vaccine program for girls, offering Australian boys aged 12‐13 years free access to a three‐dose HPV vaccine at the commencement of the school year. Boys up to 15 years of age are also eligible to receive the vaccine in 2014 as part of a catch up program.
- Brotherton, J. et al., November 2013, Human Papillomavirus vaccine coverage among female Australian adolescents:success of the school‐based approach. Medical Journal of Australia 199 (9) pg 614
- BioCSL data on file
Market research reported on in this article was conducted by bioCSL. For more information visit: www.biocsl.com.au