From 01 January 2019, WA Government is banning unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children from going to school and childcare services during disease outbreaks, under new regulations.
All WA Kindergartens, Schools and Early Childhood Services are required to collect and report each child's immunisation status to the Health Department, who then identifies those children whose vaccines are not up to date and ordering them to stay home during a disease outbreak.
"This is about protecting kids and the vulnerable people in our community from communicable diseases", Health Minister Roger Cook said. This ban doesn't apply to any children in Year 1 or above as Mr Cook said: "The government didn't want to exclude a child's education based on decisions made by their parents". "We believe that's an important principle, that we don't exclude kids and penalise them by withholding them from education for decisions that they, of course, aren't responsible for taking," he said.
In relation to Childcare and Kindergarten, Mr Cook believes "it's important that WA joins the other states in having 'no jab, no play' laws because we know that it's the best way to protect kids from serious and potentially deadly diseases."
According to the Health Department, 95 per cent of children must be fully immunised to efficiently prevent outbreaks of diseases such as measles.
In 2017 WA's immunisation coverage was lower than the national average for children aged one, two, and five, with two-year-olds in WA having the lowest rate in the country at 89.1 per cent.
Carmody, James "Unvaccinated Children To Be Banned From WA Kindies, Childcare Centres In Disease Outbreaks", ABC NEWS, 14 December 2018