Unvaccinated kids refused care, new study finds

A 'WORRYING' trend has emerged from the latest Australian Child Health Poll figures which show some unvaccinated children are being refused care by health care providers.

New research released today revealed one in six children who are not up-to-date with their vaccines are being refused care by health care providers.

Director of the Child Health Poll, paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes said the poll unveils a worrying pattern of an emerging in the Australian medical field despite a long-upheld practice in the United States where some clinicians to refuse care to an unvaccinated child.

 

Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll.
Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll. Australian Child Health Poll 201

"All children, regardless of their vaccination status, have an equal right to health care," Dr Rhodes said.

The poll surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,945 adults aged over 18 years. Collectively respondents had a total of 3,492 children.

The survey was conducted by an independent research agency on behalf of The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.

 

Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll.
Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll. Australian Child Health Poll 201

The poll also found:

  • The vast majority of Australian parents support childhood vaccination and keep their children's vaccines up-to-date.
  • 74% of parents believe they should be informed about the number of children not up-to-date with vaccines in their child's school, kindergarten or child care centre.
  • Seven out of ten parents said that knowing the percentage of under-vaccinated children in a school or centre would influence their decision to send their child to that facility.
  • Nearly three quarters of parents across Australia support a 'No Jab, No Play' policy, believing children who are not up-to-date with vaccines should be refused access to child care or kindergarten.
  • Many Australian parents are confused about whether to delay vaccines when a child has a minor illness with nearly half (47%) incorrectly saying vaccination should be delayed in a well child on antibiotics, and one in five (22%) in a child who has had a local reaction to a previous vaccine, such as swelling or redness.
  • Despite extensive medical research showing no causal link, one in ten Australian parents believe that vaccines can cause autism, and a further 30 per cent are unsure.

Dr Rhodes said the poll served as an important reminder that while most parents follow the National Immunisation Program for their children, the level of vaccine-related concern and misconceptions among parents is significant.

"While the vast majority of parents vaccinate their children, we found that almost a third of Australian parents have some concerns about vaccination," she said.

 

Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll.
Data from the latest Australian Child Health Poll. Australian Child Health Poll 201