Smart: If You Don’t Vaccinate Your Kids, Australia Won’t Pay For Your Child Care

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In Australia, there used to be widespread agreement that vaccinating children against fatal diseases was a good thing. Kids got shots, and the rate of childhood diseases plummeted.

But then things changed. In 1994, a group calling itself the Australian Vaccination Network launched a campaign claiming the risks of vaccines (which are essentially nonexistent). Its core mission: “to ensure that vaccinations are never made compulsory for Australian children.” (Years later, the group was forced to change its name to the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network, or else be de-registered.) The group seized on a fraudulent, wholly discredited paper linking the MMR vaccine to autism.

Panic began to spread among parents. By 1999, just 73.6 percent children between the ages of 24 and 27 months were fully immunized in the country, the lowest level in 17 years. In response, the government launched an aggressive education campaign. And vaccine rates did climb. By 2015, the average immunization rate across Australia was 92.2 percent. That’s not high enough, though, to stop the spread of disease.

“The medical community were telling us that ‘herd immunity rates,’ as they call it, need to be 95 percent, and we were just dropping steadily below that,” Social Services Minister Christian Porter told the Guardian. And in some communities, such as the Sydney suburbs, the proportion of vaccinated kids was significantly lower.

As a result, diseases that were effectively wiped out in the country began to spread. In 2012, a whooping cough epidemic swept through the country, and thousands of children got sick. Measles had been officially eliminated in Australia. But experts worried that vaccine rates were so low in some areas that deadly outbreaks of the disease could strike. Indeed, in 2012, there were 168 cases in Sydney.

So a year ago, the country’s leaders took action. They launched the succinctly titled No Jab, No Pay campaign, which said simply – if you don’t vaccinate your kids, we’re not going pay out the customary $11,500 child-care welfare credit to you. “Conscientiously objecting” on nonmedical grounds wasn’t an option anymore. And all parents had to report their kids’ status to the centralized Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. Parents were given until March 2016 to get their children on track.

“The choice made by families not to immunize their children is not supported by public policy or medical research nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of child care payments,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a joint statement with Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Not everyone was thrilled. One opposition group called the policy a “human rights violation.” Another – cheekily titled No Jab, No Pay, No Way – launched opposition marches across the country. “We are a group of individuals and parents who believe in freedom of choice and the right of all parents to make their families medical choices free from coercion, manipulation and blackmail!” they wrote on their website. Experts also worried that the policy would disadvantage migrant children, even those who had their shots, because of the complicated reporting requirements.

But a year in, it looks as though the program has had some success. Because of the policy, 200,000 more children received their vaccinations, according to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Overall, the percent of fully immunized 5-year-olds rose to 93.2 percent from 92.6 percent. The new statistics also show there are non-vaccination hot spots, such as Adelaide and the Gold Coast hinterland.

“It’s a tough policy because this is about public health and the safety of our beautiful kids.” Hunt told a local news station.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Amanda Erickson 



  1. I’m still not sure. Are there serious side affects for someone who takes the flu shot? Can someone get really sick after getting the shot or is it all baloney? I still have an open mind.

    • the flu vaccine protects against certain strains of flu (changes year to year based on predictions of which strains will be most prevalent / dangerous in the coming year), and people who are vaccinated are simply less likely to become seriously ill from one of those strains. It is not a required vaccine anywhere, as far as I know, and would therefore not be included.

    • Hey are you afraid of the scientifically-proven-to-be-non-existent-vaccine-related-disease? Then go right ahead, don’t vaccinate your kids. But why should I have to pay for your kids health care, when you caused him to get sick. Hey, spend the extra money, isn’t your kid worth the extra $11,500? Stop complaining. There is free choice, but you won’t be incentivized to do so. Please, I beg of you, vaccinate your kids. You don’t want to be responsible for an outbreak of polio, or small pox, or any of the other horrible diseases that have been vanquished in most civilized countries today thanks to vaccines. Not vaccinating is a death sentence, not only for your child, but for many neighbors and friends. Be smart.

  2. Great idea! The only question is – what about those who don’t immunize because of valid medical concerns – such as immunosuppressed individuals and their families? These individuals have no choice but to rely on “herd immunity” to protect them and their families. As far as “extortion” – they aren’t saying that if you don’t vaccinate, you have to pay, simply setting conditions on a benefit that they provide to parents.

  3. Let me be clear. I am not against vaccines. I am against today’s vaccines due to the high amount of toxins and adjuvants that are being injected into young children and infants whose brains are not yet fully developed. Is it no wonder that 1:68 children have autism? It used to be 1:10,000 before the advent of MMR. Why are there more reports of SIDS and ADHD? Cancer? Please do your own research. Watch videos such as Trace Amounts or Vaxxed.

    • No you are against vaccines. Their are no toxins in vaccines. Even the ones that used to have a f orm of mercury posed no danger. Check the can of tunefish in your closet boy is their alot of mercury in their run!!!

      • of course there are toxins in vaccines. look at the ingredients. no one is arguing that. you are completely uneducated if you can say that. a baby in israel just died a few hours after vaccination and there were others too. i believe 2 other incidences in the last couple of months. don’t bury your head in the sand. vaccines will never be 100% safe. just look at the insert.

        • Look at the warning packet for driving a moter vehicle or for generaly every applaince in your house! Look at the insert for everything. Don’t put your head in the sand! Seriously is that the best you can do! Who should people trust the people who spent years studying medicine or random blogs on the internet!


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