The anti-vaccination lobby will not be pleased with the 2017 Federal Budget.
Following on its No Jab No Pay policy, the government has decided that families who fail to immunise their children and who fail to get a health check on their 4-year-olds will lose $28 a fortnight from the Family Tax Benefit.
This is part of the policy of increasing national immunisation coverage rates and improving the effectiveness of the National Immunisation Program Increase. The aim is that the immunisation coverage rates in children at 5 years of age should increase from the estimated 92.2 per cent of children immunised in 2016-17 to at least 94 per cent by 2020-21.
The Government says it will commit $14.1 million over four years through the National Immunisation Program to provide ongoing catch-up vaccines for almost 375,000 Australians aged 10 to 19 years, and more than 8000 adult refugees and humanitarian entrants.
In addition, the Government will launch a $5.5 million awareness campaign over three years to improve awareness and uptake of immunisation for children less than five years of age.
Regular reminders will be sent to parents covering the importance of immunising children and protecting public health.