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Australia Will Fine Parents Every Two Weeks if They Don’t Vaccinate Their Children

By Madeleine Keck

The Australian government has ramped up Australia’s already strong immunisation policy by targeting parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Under the Coalition’s No Jab, No Pay program, those receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A payments — available to families to assist with the cost of raising children — will lose $28 every two weeks for each unvaccinated child.

“Immunisation is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases,” Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan announced in a statement on July 2. “Parents who don’t immunise their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people.”

Vaccines Should Be Accessible and Affordable For All

Since the No Jab, No Pay program was introduced in 2016, parents with unvaccinated children received just one $737 fine at the end of each year. According to Tehan, the transition from one end-of-year punishment to a biweekly fine will present “a constant reminder for parents to keep their children’s immunisations up to date.”

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Due to the rise in skepticism surrounding vaccines over the past few years, the Australian government has forbidden exceptions to those who oppose immunisations on religious, moral, or philosophical levels. Following in the federal government’s footsteps, various Australian states have introduced a No Jab, No Play policy, which prevent unvaccinated children from attending kindergarten and day cares.

Vaccination rates in New South Wales have reached record highs with more than 93 percent of one-year-olds and five-year-olds now fully immunised.

Parents who refuse to immunise their children will begin paying for the choice from today. The government will slash fortnightly family payments by $28 per un-vaccinated child as part of their no jab, no pay policy.

Since Australia’s initial vaccination policy was enacted, the immunisation rate in the nation has reach 92.2% — with an additional 246,000 children vaccinated.

The Turnbull government offered more than $14 million toward free, catch-up vaccinations in last year’s budget. The government also announced it would allot $5.5 million over three years in an effort to persuade parents to vaccinate their children.

Curated from Global Citizen.