No Jab No Play legislation now in effect in South Australia
From today, children in South Australia will not be able to enrol in or attend early childhood services unless all immunisation requirements are met, SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade has said, with new No Jab, No Play legislation coming into effect.
“While the world deals with the devastating impacts of a virus for which we have no vaccine for it would be irresponsible not to protect our children from the viruses we can vaccinate,” Minister Wade said.
No Jab, No Play laws follow earlier changes which came into effect on 1 January 2020, requiring parents and guardians to provide approved immunisation records to early childhood service providers when they enrol a child, and ongoing at specified times throughout the child’s attendance at the service.
An approved immunisation record is a child’s immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register.
Mr Wade reiterated the SA Government’s commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of young South Australians, saying immunisation is one of the most effective ways of achieving this outcome.
“Immunisation is a simple, safe and highly effective way of protecting children and adults from harmful diseases before they come into contact with them and we strongly believe that SA should have the best childhood immunisation rates in the nation” he added.
Early childhood services in the state have been required to collect immunisation records since the beginning of the year, allowing the public health team to quickly respond to any vaccine preventable outbreak and exclude children who are more at risk.
As a result of changes made to the South Australian Public Health Act 2011, the Chief Public Health Officer can exclude unimmunised or otherwise susceptible children from care during an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease.
Dr Louise Flood, Director of The Department for Health and Wellbeing Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) said vaccinations were the number one defence against vaccine preventable diseases.
“Young children, particularly babies, are more vulnerable to severe outcomes from some vaccine preventable diseases than older children and adults,” Dr Flood said, adding that immunisation not only protects vulnerable individuals but also the broader community, some of whom may be too young or too unwell to be vaccinated.
“Most vaccines need to be given more than once to build longer lasting protection. It is important for children to complete the full recommended course or schedule of vaccinations at the recommended times” she added.
There are some approved exemptions and parents and guardians should speak with their medical practitioner about their child’s particular circumstances.
For more information, visit the SA Health website, here.