Elizabeth Roth, Hugh Funnell and Trader Ahern receive their immunisations at Burnett State Colege.
Elizabeth Roth, Hugh Funnell and Trader Ahern receive their immunisations at Burnett State Colege. Felicity Ripper

Nurses praised for region's vaccination rates

NORTH Burnett nurses Angela Slack and Jenny Williams have been praised for reaching well above the state benchmark with immunisation rates as part of the School Immunisation Program.

Wide Bay Public Health Physician Dr Margaret Young commended the nurses for, in many cases, achieving better coverage than in the bigger centres.

She said the benchmark for immunisations in secondary school is 85 per cent.

Across Queensland very few school immunisation program providers are getting near this target, but in the North Burnett coverage rates from 88 per cent right up to 100 per cent are consistently reached.

"That's an excellent result, because what it really means is that our rural nursing team is helping us to protect North Burnett secondary students from a range of potentially dangerous viruses and infections we know we can prevent,” Dr Young said.

"These include human papillomavirus infections, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and meningococcal disease.”

Across Wide Bay, the School Immunisation Program is carried out through a combination of WBHHS teams and third-party providers.

"In the North Burnett, our own nurses directly take care of immunisations and they're very effective,” Dr Young said.

"Part of the reason for that is because they live in a smaller community, so they're more likely to directly follow up with children and parents.

"But it's also because school immunisations are an important public health initiative, and our teams are very passionate about delivering them.”

Dr Young said if parents have not yet received immunisation permission forms for their children in Years 7 and 10, they soon will.

She encouraged them to return the forms as soon as possible to help maintain the "excellent record of protecting our children through simple, safe and effective vaccines”.


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