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  • Western Australia supports 'no jab, no play' policy

    Author: AAP

Western Australia is supporting the "no jab, no play" policy to keep unvaccinated children out of child care centres and preschools.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has written to the prime minister in support of a national push to ban unvaccinated children from child care centres and pre-schools.

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Malcolm Turnbull wrote to state and territory leaders in March urging them to back the "no jab, no play" policy and Mr McGowan, who was elected that same month, has now formally indicated support for strict vaccination requirements.

"I'm of the view that children and babies need to be protected and we need to make sure that we have the highest levels of vaccination possible," Mr McGowan told reporters on Sunday.

"Without vaccinating your children they are subject to various illnesses, and what's more, they then can communicate those illnesses to babies who are vulnerable and this can cause life-long suffering."


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The WA government is drafting regulations to strengthen universal immunisation record checks for children in early education.

While banning unvaccinated children was a tough approach, it was also fair and reasonable, Mr McGowan said.

"Every single credible piece of medical advice says that we should vaccinate our children," he said.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the proportion of children fully vaccinated in WA was at an all-time high of almost 95 per cent, but the state government was committed to increasing the rate.

He said the Health Department would work closely with parents to remind them about vaccination dates and ensure people understood the importance of immunising children.

But it remained a choice, rather than a legal requirement, because it was a medical procedure and the government could not compel parents, Mr Cook said.

"At the end of the day, if parents are refusing to protect their children and the other children that they come in contact with by not immunising their kids, we have to exclude them," he said.

"That's a very extreme situation. I'm sure that we won't be facing that situation, but we're taking every precaution to make sure that those powers, if necessary, are there to be exercised."

Mr Cook also said a vaccination-free playgroup promoted on Facebook had been rightly condemned by the Australian Medical Association.

"You can imagine if you brought together a group of kids, all who have not had the benefits of vaccination, then you've got a tinderbox for communicable diseases and that could really spell a great deal of danger," he said.


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