Monday, January 17th, 2011 - General Practice SA
Parents of four-year-old children starting pre-school, kindergarten or school for the first time this year are being reminded to take that last step in the immunisation schedule by ensuring the four-year-old vaccination is completed before school starts.

Gretchen Scinta, CEO of General Practice SA, says the four-year-old vaccination is the final stage in the childhood immunisation program and protects children against developing diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella and polio.

“In the mayhem of getting children ready for the new year of pre-school or school with uniforms, lunch boxes, school bags and resources, it often means the most crucial preparation is overlooked – their immunisation status.

“The window of opportunity for the four-year-old vaccinations must be taken any time up until the child is 4 years and one month of age,” Ms. Scinta said.

“Immunisation is critical for protecting the individual children and subsequently the whole community by preventing the spread of vaccine preventable diseases.

“Currently Pertussis or whooping cough, is at epidemic levels in many areas of the country - a disease that is totally preventable,” Ms. Scinta said.

“Two Australian babies have died over the past two years after contracting whooping cough from adults within their community who were not immunised or had not had booster doses.

“Parents also need to remember that the Maternal Immunisation Allowance and Child Care Payments are now tied to the four-year-old immunisations and to ensure the payments continue this last stage of the vaccination program must be completed,” Ms. Scinta said.

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General Practice SA


General Practice SA is the state based organisation supporting the innovative work of its members, the 14 General Practice Networks in South Australia. The General Practice Networks have membership of almost 100% of general practitioners across the State.
Belinda MacLeod-Smith
P: 0400 467 042
W: www.gpsa.org.au

Keywords

vaccination,immunisation, four year old, whooping cough

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