MAKE an informed decision about immunisation through a new booklet launched this week.
The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers aims to dispel misconceptions about immunisation.
Published by the Australian Academy of Science, a working group of scientific professors and other experts compiled the information.
Mid-North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health District public health director Paul Corben said immunisation rates in Port Macquarie were good.
While no exact figures were available, Mr Corben said our town was on par or above the nation’s 92 per cent average.
Neighbouring town Kempsey was slightly below the average, he said.
“The higher levels we get, the better protection there is,” Mr Corben said.
Ensuring children are immunised at recommended ages was important, he added, with the first vaccines due at birth.
A frequent problem in Australia is people travelling overseas who chose not to be vaccinated.
Upon returning home, they risk spreading diseases and illnesses picked up from being unvaccinated, Mr Corben said.
Immunisation is not compulsory in Australia but monetry incentives are available for parents who chose to do so.
Mr Corben praised the new booklet as a credible source for parents deciding where they stand on immunisation.
“There has been opposition to immunisation since its introduction in the 1800s,” Mr Corben said.
But, immunisation has eradicated diseases such as small pox in Australia and measles is close to eradication in our country.
Mr Corben said the less people chose to get vaccinated, the greater risk diseases will be introduced or re-introduced in communities, causing suffering and even deaths.
“Protect yourself and others through immunisation,” he said.