Strict new rules affecting Wagga children in daycare have come into effect with the new year.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will no longer be able to enrol them in the city’s daycare services, after so-called ‘no jab, no play’ laws were beefed up by the State Government to remove the so-called conscientious objector exemptions.
Both childcare centres and family daycare services in Wagga will be affected after a Bill to amend the Public Health Act to introduce stronger requirements for families was passed in September.
Directors who fail to comply and those who falsify vaccination certificates will face fines of up to $5500.
“From January 1, 2018, WWRFDC will not be able to enrol new children who are unvaccinated due to their parents’ conscientious objection, but can still enrol unimmunised children if there is a medical reason and certificate supplied for them not to be vaccinated or the child is on a recognised catch-up schedule,” Wagga Regional Family Day Care Service manager Kym Stewart has told The Daily Advertiser.
Wagga has previously been recognised as having one of the state’s highest immunisations rates.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 95 per cent of one-year-olds living in the area of the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network area – which incorporates Wagga – are fully immunised, the nation’s top result.
“These rates are a snapshot on a day. New babies are born all the time, so we need to maintain those rates,” director of public health for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Tracey Oakman said.
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