GML Vaccination Reminder for Parents Carers and Children

For copy of media release click GML Vaccinations media release 31 Jan 2014

For immediate release                                                               12.00pm Friday 31 January 2014

GML reminds Gippsland families to vaccinate now

As Gippsland families commence another school year, Gippsland Medicare Local (GML) is reminding families and carers to ensure their immunisations are up to date.

GML Board Chair and Gippsland GP, Dr Nola Maxfield, has said the need for precautions against vaccine-preventable disease is highlighted by cases of measles during 2013 in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  In Victoria alone there were 19 confirmed cases during August and September.

“Measles are infectious and often cause severe illness resulting in hospitalisation, long term complications and sometimes death,” Dr Maxfield said.

With no treatment for measles available, Dr Maxfield said the only therapy for measles is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.

“We know children interact very closely with each other in schools, kindergartens and child care centres and it is vital that they are fully protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The National Immunisation Program provides free immunisation for children against 16 different diseases, including; measles, mumps and rubella, diphtheria, tetanus whooping cough (pertussis), polio, hepatitis B, rotavirus, meningococcal C, chicken pox and invasive pneumococcal disease.

“Immunisations are available through GP clinics, Aboriginal health centres, community health centres and local council immunisation sessions,” Dr Maxfield said.

“The only really safe way to protect children against measles is to vaccinate on time, which means two vaccinations – one at 12 months; and the following one at 18 months or four years of age.”

Parents who are keen to track their own and their children’s health care and have a simple, accessible medical record, now have the option of signing up for an electronic health record.
To register for an electronic health record, or visit the ehealth website at:  http://www.ehealth.gov.au/internet/ehealth/publishing.nsf/content/home or call Gippsland Medicare Local on 5126 2899 for more information.

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More information

  • Measles vaccine (MMR) is provided free for people born after or during 1966 who have not already received two doses of measles vaccine.
  • Measles is spread by breathing infected airborne droplets caused by coughing and sneezing and by contact with hands, tissues and other articles soiled by nose and throat discharges.
  • Others are at risk for up to two hours after the infected person has left the area.
  • Parents can check their child’s vaccination history by contacting their GP or accessing the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register at www.humanservices.gov.au

Parents can request a history statement for download or to be sent in the mail. Alternatively, they can call the Dept. of Human Services on 1800 653 809