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Child-friendly immunisations: youngsters dress up for their jabs

1 May 2017

immunisation

A child-friendly immunisation event in Croydon is helping take the sting out of what can often be an anxious time for both youngsters and their parents.

Maroondah Mayor Tony Dib said the council-run program encouraged children to embrace their ‘inner superhero’ by dressing as their favourite storybook or movie here to help overcome the anxiety of receiving their injections.

“Through events such as this, Council’s immunisation team is aiming to improve immunisation coverage rates for 4-year-old children, as well as provide a less stressful environment for parents and children,” Cr Dib said.

“Providing a means of distraction for children in a fun setting can alleviate some of the worry and hopefully creates a more positive experience,” he added.

According to new figures released by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, Maroondah immunisation rates for children aged 12-15 months and 60-63 months are above the state and national averages, at 94.35 per cent and 95.65 per cent, respectively.

Cr Dib said Council was a strong advocate for immunisation and although the city had high coverage rates in certain age groups, we as a community could not afford to become complacent.

“We must continue to strive for higher participation rates in order to safeguard and ensure our community is fully protected from preventable diseases,” he said. Council’s immunisation team has collaborated with Maroondah’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services and the Maroondah Integrated Kindergarten Association (MIKA) to provide a comprehensive link between 4-year-old immunisations, the MCH 3.5-year-old check-up and 4-year-old kindergarten application timeline.

The final dose of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio are given at four years of age. This vaccination is important and is the last of the childhood vaccinations. This final dose boosts the child’s immune system and provides increased coverage against these diseases.

Positive feedback from parents

Parents of children who attended vaccination sessions across Maroondah recently have taken to council’s Facebook page to share their experience.

One resident wrote: “A huge shout out to staff at the immunisation session at Aquanation today. As a stressed out mum of a child with autism we were treated with nothing but kindness and respect. They ensured everything went smoothly and did an excellent job. Thank you very much.”

Another found that the child-friendly immunisation session run at Keystone Hall was “great” and that “there were plenty of distractions”.

International Immunisation Week (24 – 30 April)

With International Immunisation Week (24-30 April) being held recently, the World Health Organisation remains steadfast in its aim of preventing millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunisation.

According to WHO, immunisation averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles; however an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves.

Come to the next dress-up immunisation session

The next 4-year-old ‘dress-up’ immunisation session is on Thursday 25 May at Keystone Hall, Civic Square, Croydon, from 4pm-6pm.

Activities happening throughout the afternoon include arts and crafts, storytime and interactive displays from Maroondah Toy Library, with a ‘bravery award’ and show bag given to each child who is immunised.

Children are also encouraged to bring along their teddy bear, who can also receive its immunisations in the ‘teddy bear clinic’.

Children are eligible to receive this round of immunisations from of 3.5 years of age.

View Council’s 2017 immunisation schedule or call 9294 5627 for further information.



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