Vaccination is not compulsory for children in Australia. It is still a parent's legal right to choose not to vaccinate or to vaccinate selectively. Therefore, the recent policy announced by Health Minister Nicola Roxon (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr11-nr-nr250.htm) to penalise families who have made this choice by withholding over $2,100 in financial entitlements is discriminatory and potentially unconstitutional.
Minister Roxon claims she is concerned about the increase of whooping cough and claims to "... know that immunisation is fundamental to a child's lifelong health."
The fact is that we already have the highest level of childhood vaccination we have ever had in Australia - over 95%. Despite this, we have had an increase of over 10,000% in the incidence of whooping cough!
There are a few questions that this government needs to answer before they even consider bribing parents to vaccinate and withholding funds from those who don't:
1- Why are these vaccines not working? Why have there been no independent studies comparing the health of the fully vaccinated vs the fully unvaccinated?
2- Why has the Australian government refused the AVN's request to enact legislation to ensure that we have mandatory reporting of the vaccination status of those presenting with 'vaccine-preventable' diseases? How can we possibly tell if vaccines are working unless we know how many vaccinated individuals are getting the diseases they are supposedly immune to?
3- Why has the Australian government refused the request of both the AVN and the AMA that we enact legislation making it compulsory to report reporting adverse reactions to all vaccines with independent follow-up of all serious reaction reports?
Our current 'passive' reporting system omits approximately 99% of all reaction reports and has no independent oversight system in place for investigating these events.
Only when this information is available will society start to realise the true efficacy and safety of these vaccines. Trying to penalise parents without full access to this information is not only discriminatory - it is also unscientific.
Please also be aware that according to the government, conscientious and medical exemptions are still available though this information is not being reported on in the media.
Australian Vacciantion Network, Inc.