Lifestyle

Teen vaccination rates low in Australia

• New research shows less than half (44.2%) of parents of teens are aware Government-funded immunisations are available in secondary school as part of the school-based program.

• Immunisation is a low priority, with only 17.5% of parents of teens considering immunisation among the top three concerns for their child, compared to 49.4% of parents of infants.

• Parents are reminded to check high school children's school bags to find, sign and return vaccination consent forms so they don't miss out on recommended vaccinations at school.

COINCIDING with the new school year kick off, research among Australian parents reveals there's still a lesson to be learned when it comes to teen vaccination.

Despite a comprehensive immunisation program, the majority of parents of teens (55.8%) are not aware that scheduled vaccinations are available in secondary school.

The research, which compared the views of parents of teens with parents of infants (aged 0 - 5 years) in relation to immunisation, revealed that nearly half of parents of infants (49.4%) considered immunisation amongst their top three concerns for their child.1 This focus shifted dramatically among parents of teens (17.5%), with priorities turning toward education (58.4%), school/cyber bullying (48.7%), and overall emotional wellbeing and happiness (61%).

Professor Rachel Skinner, Sydney University's Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health and Adolescent Physician at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, says it's vital parents stay informed about vaccination regardless of their child's age and maintain a balanced focus on physical health and emotional wellbeing as they grow up.

"As our children start high school it can be natural to focus our concerns on other aspects of their wellbeing and development, and so it's not surprising that knowledge of immunisations can fall."

"It is important to keep track of your teen's immunisation status, which is still a fundamental part of protecting their health and potentially preventing the spread of infectious disease. We are urging parents to find, sign and return the vaccination consent form - without it, their child will miss out on the recommended vaccinations at school." said Professor Skinner.

Parents of teens are reliant on reminders from their school (28.6%) or local GP (19.5%) to help keep on top of their child's immunisations.1 However, more than a quarter (26.6%) stated they do not actively seek out vaccination consent forms that are distributed by their school at the start of each year, reinforcing the need for immunisation to remain on parents' radar long past the pre-school phase.

Recommended adolescent vaccines on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) have been delivered via school-based vaccination programs over the last two decades in Australia.

For this often hard to reach population, the school-based vaccination program approach has demonstrated advantages over other  strategies.

Under the school-based vaccination program, the vaccines currently offered for boys and girls in high school may include chickenpox, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Parents can visit their state health department websites or the following websites to learn more about school-based vaccination programs:

•         Immunise Australia - www.immunise.health.gov.au/
•         HPV School Vaccination Program - hpv.health.gov.au/
•         Immune Hero - http://immunehero.health.vic.gov.au

For more information parents should speak to a healthcare professional or visit state health department websites. 

Topics:  teenagers, vaccination




Bundaberg could feed the state with the food we throw out

Just how much food do we waste every year?

No jail for league player who punched man

ASSAULT: The impact of the punch broke the victim's left front tooth and caused a puncture wound to his lip.

Nine-month community correction order for CBD assault

Jail drug smuggler caught with five bags of pot

BACK IN COURT: Brooke Marie Glasson was found in possession of marijuana two months after pleading guilty to supplying a dangerous drug at the Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Second chance to stay out of jail

Latest deals and offers

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.