Australia’s “no jab, no pay” policy will stop parents who refuse to vaccinate their children from receiving welfare assistance.
Australia recently released their 2015 federal budget and noted with this new policy, they will be saving approximately $500 million over the next four years. The policy is expected to affect 10,000 families in the 2016/2017 financial year alone, saving $142 million, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
During the next four years, the government plans on spending an estimated $26 million on educating parents about vaccines and creating “programs to encourage immunization, including improving vaccine registers to cover all school-based vaccinations, providing incentives to doctors to target unimmunized children, and running an information campaign.”
University of Sydney associate professor Julie Leask says that only two percent of families are actually registered as opposing vaccines, and of those two percent, she believes many could be persuaded by the new policy and the lack of assistance.
Another four or five percent of parents claim their children are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated because they are not able to access the means to get them. Poverty and being born overseas, are also contributing factors to the lack of vaccinations.
The “no jab, no pay” policy will be implemented starting in January 2016 and will keep anti-vaccination families from receiving any type of child care assistance and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end-of-year supplement.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister in April, exemptions will still be allowed on medical and religious grounds.
“Existing exemptions on medical or religious grounds will continue, however a religious objection will only be available where the person is affiliated with a religious groups where the governing body has a formally registered objection approved by the Government.”
The statement continued by saying that not vaccinating children is not supported by public policy or medical research. Therefore, assistance to these families will stop.
“Australia now has childhood vaccination rates over 90 per cent, from one to five years of age, but more needs to be done to ensure we protect our children and our community from preventable diseases.”
“The Government is extremely concerned at the risk this poses to other young children and the broader community.”
“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.”
What do you think about Australia’s “no jab, no pay” policy? Should this policy be implemented in the United States? Leave your comments below.
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