NSW Health is making it easier for parents to ensure their children are fully immunised on time with an innovative App that will help ensure they are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough.
While around 90% of children at 1 and 2 years of age in NSW are fully immunised, 95% coverage is needed for effective disease control.
There is also evidence that some parents are having their children vaccinated later than the recommended ages, often due to time pressure and busy lives. This delay means children are unprotected from serious diseases.
NSW Health Director of Health Protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty said this new “Save the Date to Vaccinate” campaign reminds parents about the importance of vaccinating children on time, and provides a range of handy tools and resources to make this easier.
The new App for iPhone and Android phones allows parents to enter their child’s name and birth date, as well as their GP’s contact details.
The App will then calculate the next immunisation due date and send a series of reminders to prompt the parent to call their GP to schedule an appointment for each immunisation.
Parents can make that call straight from the App.
“NSW has recently experienced outbreaks of whooping cough and measles. By vaccinating, you are protecting your child from serious diseases, as well as protecting the broader community”, Dr McAnulty said.
New mum, Rachael Allen knows all too well the seriousness of preventable diseases. Baby Issabella caught whooping cough at one month of age, too young to receive the vaccination that could have protected her.
“I think it is so important to ensure you and your children are immunised because you not only protect your family from these horrible diseases but also other vulnerable people in the community,” Ms Allen said.
“We were very lucky the Issabella fought the illness and made a full recovery, but there are other families out there who are not so lucky, that is why it is so important for everyone to get vaccinated.”
A new Save the Date campaign website has been developed which includes resources such as a printable Personalised Vaccination Schedules, and immunisation videos.
Download the SAVE THE DATE App or print a Personalised Vaccination Schedule at www.immunisation.health.nsw.gov.au
For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au