Doctors warn of risk of preventable diseases

Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) has warned that the rapidly declining immunisation rates in Australia are putting communities at risk of pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and swine flu.

Immunisation rates of children are at a seven year low and the AGPN believes there could be devastating consequences.

AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic said the Government's move to end the immunisation incentive scheme had led to a dramatic decline in immunisation rates, with no likely recovery.

“We warned the Government when they decided to axe the immunisation incentive scheme that the rates of immunisation would decrease, and it appears that the recent figures prove our point," Dr Djakic said.

Dr Djakic said children who were not vaccinated also posed a severe threat of passing on the illness to pregnant women, older or obese people and Indigenous Australians, with potentially tragic consequences.

“These illnesses are often much worse for adults, and adults with a chronic condition are at a high risk of serious complications," Dr Djakic said.

According to the AGPN Australia aims to have an immunisation rate of 90 per cent or

above which is a good coverage rate by international standards.

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