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Heathcote district gets good report card for child immunisation

The Loddon-Elmore catchment has the third-highest percentage in the country for immunisation of five-year-olds.

April 4, 2014 4:20am

Immunisation rates for five-year-olds in the Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local region, which includes Heathcote, are among the highest in the country, according to the latest National Health Performance Authority report.

Loddon-Elmorein the LMMML catchmenthad the third highest percentage of all children fully immunised at age five in a statistical area.

LMMML chief executive officer Matt Jones said the Healthy Communities: Immunisation Rates for Children in 2012-13 report showed the region was above per cent at all levels.

‘‘It is encouraging to see we are above 90 per cent for children fully immunised at ages one, two and five,’’ he said.

‘‘There has also been a significant improvement on the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged one who are fully immunised compared to the previous 12-month period.

‘‘Our region is now at 86 per cent which places us above the national rate of 85.2 per cent.’’

Mr Jones said the report allowed the organisation to identify the communities where improvement was needed.

‘‘There has been a decrease in the percentage of two-year-olds fully immunised compared to the previous report,’’ he said.

‘‘It also shows there are still communities where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are not benefiting from the full health protection that vaccines provide.

‘‘This data is a vital tool that allows us to focus on specific local areas to continue the momentum to stay above the national rate.’’

Mr Jones said this year’s report provided an accurate level of district information in comparison to the 2011-12 report.

‘‘Medicare Locals were still being set up during the time of the 2011-12 reporting period,’’ he said.

‘‘This report reflects our first year of operation as a Medicare Local.

‘‘It provides a much better baseline when dealing with population health to keeping people well, out of hospital and importantly vaccinated again communicable diseases.’’

Mr Jones said LMMML was working actively on immunisation programs through education and support.

‘‘Our organisation works with and offers assistance to local government, general practices and other agencies to promote safe, effective and timely vaccinations,’’ he said.

‘‘Immunisation not only protects individuals, but also protects others in our community by reducing the spread of disease.’’

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