Australians must have their children fully immunised to receive benefit

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 05 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7872
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

Parents who do not have their children fully immunised by the age of 5 years stand to lose AUD$2100 (£1375; €1600; $2150) in benefits under reforms announced by the Australian government.

Under current arrangements, families who meet immunisation requirements when their child turns 2 and 5 receive a Maternity Immunisation Allowance of $129 per instalment.

From next July, this allowance will no longer be paid, and families instead must have their children fully immunised to receive an existing tax benefit supplement, which is not paid to the highest income earners.

The payment, worth $726 per child each year, will be paid once a child is fully immunised at 1, 2, and 5 years of age. Meningococcal C, pneumococcal, and varicella will be added to the immunisations needed to qualify for the payment.

Although parents can …

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