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Vaccine myopia: adult vaccination also needs attention

Med J Aust 2017; 206 (6): 238-239. || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00811

Time to increase our focus on immunising adults

In recent years, there has been increasing attention on parents who actively refuse to vaccinate their children. Successive federal governments have increased the amount of family assistance payments at stake for those who do not vaccinate, and removed most incentives for providers to vaccinate.1 In 2016, the federal government removed vaccine objection as an alternative to vaccination for eligibility to receive family assistance payments. Two states — Victoria and Queensland — introduced legislation to allow the exclusion of unvaccinated children from child care, with no exemption for objectors. The abolition of the conscientious objection process has been championed in sections of the media2 and by some advocacy groups. Responses to people expressing dissenting views have sometimes been vitriolic.3

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  • Robert I Menzies1
  • Julie Leask2
  • Jenny Royle3,4
  • C Raina MacIntyre1

  • 1 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Population Health Research, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 NEST Family Wellness Clinic, Melbourne, VIC

Correspondence: r.menzies@unsw.edu.au

Competing interests:

Raina MacIntyre has participated in advisory boards for Pfizer, Merck and GSK, and has received in-kind support for investigator-driven research from Pfizer and CSL.

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