Migration should be considered by immunisation policy
The Social Services Legislation Amendment (No Jab, No Pay) Act 2015 (Cwlth) was passed in November 2015, closing the conscientious objection exemption to immunisation requirements for family assistance payments. The intention was to reinforce the importance of immunisation and protect public health, especially for children.1,2 While these aims are sound, there are far-reaching, presumably unintended, consequences for migrant and refugee children.
- 1. Joint Press Release. The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister and the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Social Services. No jab — no play and no pay for child care. 12 April 2015. http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F3770236%22 (accessed Mar 2016).
- 2. Social Services Legislation Amendment (No Jab, No Pay) Bill 2015. Explanatory memorandum. Canberra: Parliament of Australia, 2015. http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r5540_ems_78b7b14d-fa5d-469e-a038-2840207a8f3e/upload_pdf/503827.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf (accessed Mar 2016).
- 3. Klapdor M, Grove A. ‘No Jab No Pay’ and other immunisation measures. Budget Review 2015–16. Canberra: Parliament of Australia, 2015. http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/BudgetReview201516/Vaccination (accessed Mar 2016).
- 4. Australian Government Department of Health. No Jab, No Pay — new immunisation requirements for family assistance payments. Canberra: Australian Government, 2015. http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/67D8681A67167949CA257E2E000EE07D/$File/No-Jab-No-Pay.pdf (accessed Mar 2016).
- 5. Australian Government Department of Health. Catch-up: incentives for vaccination providers and general practitioners. Canberra: Australian Government, 2015. http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/67D8681A67167949CA257E2E000EE07D/$File/Incentives-vaccination-providers.pdf (accessed Mar 2016).
- 6. Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Fact sheet: Australia's refugee and humanitarian programme [website]. https://www.border.gov.au/about/corporate/information/fact-sheets/60refugee (accessed Mar 2016).
- 7. Hull BP, Dey A, Menzies RI, et al. Immunisation coverage, 2012. Commun Dis Intel 2014; 38: E208-E231.
- 8. Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. National due and overdue rules for childhood immunisation. Version 1.0 January 2016. http://studylib.net/doc/7087421/overdue-rules-for-childhood-immunisation (accessed Mar 2016).
- 9. Australian Government Department of Health. Australian immunisation handbook. 10th ed (updated June 2015). Canberra: Department of Health, 2015.
- 10. Paxton GA, Rice J, Davie G, et al. East African immigrant children in Australia have poor immunisation coverage. J Paediatr Child Health 2011; 47: 888-892.
- 11. Paxton GA, Sangster KJ, Maxwell EL, et al. Post-arrival health screening in Karen refugees in Australia. PLoS One 2012; 7: e38194.
- 12. Chaves NJ, Paxton GA, Biggs BA, et al. Recommendations for comprehensive post-arrival health assessment for people from refugee-like backgrounds. 2nd edition. Sydney: Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases and Refugee Health Network of Australia, 2016. http://www.asid.net.au/documents/item/1225 (accessed Mar 2016).
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