Ararat Rural City and Northern Grampians Shire children have some of the highest rates of immunisation in Victoria.
Both were in the top 20 Victorian municipalities for percentages of five-year-old children with full immunisation.
During last year, 97.67 per cent of children aged 60 to 63 months within Northern Grampians Shire and 97.62 per cent in Ararat had their immunisations.
Northern Grampians and Ararat also had their highest ever recorded rates of child immunisation.
Communities need a 95 per cent rate of immunisation to obtain ‘herd immunity’ and halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.
Pyrenees and West Wimmera shires, with immunisation rates of about 90 per cent, were amoung the 26 Victorian municipalities that fell below the herd immunity threshold.
High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.
Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford credited the state government’s ‘No Jab No Play’ policy for the increase in immunisations.
“These are more than just statistics. This is about protecting kids in Northern Grampians Shire and Ararat Rural City from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases,” she said.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the increases had been achieved despite the rise of the ‘anti-vaxxer movement.
“Despite rogue practitioners still trying to tout misinformation – Victorian parents are listening to science. And that’s great news,” she said.