$3 million incentive to boost vaccination rates
THE State Government will pour $3 million into an incentive to improve vaccination rates across Queensland.
The move comes despite state rates being among the highest in Australia, with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg aiming to for a new level by boosting rates in areas where they are lowest.
"Latest figures show Queensland is ahead of the national vaccination rate in all categories up to five years of age," Mr Springborg said.
"So a key plank of the new vaccination strategy for Queensland is a bonus system to reward Hospital and Health Boards for effective strategies that boost local rates.
"From July 1, local hospital and health services that improve vaccination rates will be able to share part of the $3 million in additional funding.
"Current Queensland vaccination rates range from 90.7% among babies aged 12-15 months to 92.8 per cent of five-year olds. The national equivalent rates are 89.7% and 92% respectively."
Mr Springborg said the overall strength of the statewide performance could be improved by concentrating on local vaccination levels.
"At 12 months, rates of full inoculation range from 85.7% on the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula to 89.9% on the Gold Coast and 92.9 per cent on Cape York," he said.
"At five years, it varies from 89.6% among children in North-West Queensland and 89.7 per cent on the Sunshine Coast to 96.4% in the South West.
"Across Queensland, our wide range of communities, climates and cultures is best served through effective local strategies based on local knowledge.
"This was a key factor acknowledged by the LNP when it delivered local control to sixteen separate hospital and health services in 2012.
"Now we can utilise this local knowledge to improve our vaccination rates and reward local communities for the successful plans they develop."
Mr Springborg said outreach services and tailored reminders aimed at parents and individual communities were among strategies that could be adopted by Hospital and Health Boards to improve local vaccination rates over the coming year.