Immunization: No Jab, No Pay

  A mother from NSW plans to open her own Childcare centre due to what she believes as enslavement by the government.   In Northern Rivers, NSW, a ‘No Vax’ Childcare Centre is set to commence in 2016 as a mother’s response to the government’s “No Jab, No Pay” policy announced by the Prime minister back in April 2015. The policy passed into law to make more parents have their children vaccinated, as there has been a significant dip in the number of children given the shots in whole of Australia.   But how did it come to this?   What is No Jab, No Pay?   The No Jab, No Pay law does not permit parents to access government payments like Childcare Benefit, Childcare Rebates and Family Tax Benefit Part A End-Of-Year Supplement if the children in the family does not have a record of immunization. However, children with certain medical conditions and those with religious reasons are still exempt from this law. Those exempt due to religious grounds should be affiliated to a religious group formally registered and approved.   Due to the law being effective January 1, 2016, parents in NSW are now rushing to have their children vaccinated although there are still some who are skeptical.   Contrary to what other parents believe, the new law does not ban children to enroll in any childcare setting, however, a child without vaccination should produce commonwealth forms completed by a general practitioner or a nurse immunizer before coming to school.   The government maintains that this policy is to reinforce the importance of immunization and protect public health. According to the Director of Public Health for Northern NSW Local Health District, Paul Corben, Northern Rivers region has the lowest vaccine rate and a higher rate of whooping cough compared to its neighbors. The danger of having unvaccinated children together in a setting (or a whole community) is that it serves as an incubator for communicable diseases. This, of course, is something that the government wants to avoid.   A large number of parents in different parts of the world, including Australia, are doubtful of the benefits of immunization. If anything, some parents think that vaccines may cause autism and even death.   Misconceptions are rampant on the Internet; any parent who comes across them would really hesitate to have their child jabbed by a needle.   One of the biggest myths started with a small study back in 1998 linking MMR vaccine to autism. This study was found to be flawed and was debunked by the same journal that published it. Further, a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine in the US found that there is no scientific evidence for MMR vaccine to cause autism whatsoever. This is followed by a similar study published by the Center for Diseases and Control in 2010.   Parents are also concerned about the amount of mercury found in the vaccines. Thiomersal (organomercury compound) was used as preservative before. However, starting 2001, vaccines for children below 6 do not use mercury anymore. Other vaccines for older children only have a trace of it.   Vaccines may cause soreness and fever as side effects and it does not guarantee 100% protection but having those shots help your body become immune to different diseases and enables the body to fight real infection if present.   We should always aim to keep our bodies (and our children’s) strong and healthy to keep virus and bacteria at bay. Natural immunity is always better, however, we should keep in mind that there are certain diseases that are too great to risk. Chicken pox may develop complications including encephalitis and pneumonia. Polio causes permanent paralysis while a child may turn deaf due to mumps. The Haemophilus influenza type (Hib) may result to brain damage. The risk may change a child’s life drastically. This is why vaccines were developed in the first place.   We all want the best for our child and we will always put their interest first. As parents, it is still our choice, as long as we made an informed decision.   References   12 April 2015. Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces ‘no jab, no play and no pay’ policy for child vaccination. The Daily Telegraph website:   Hansen, J. 3 September 2015. ‘NoVax’ childcare: Northern Rivers Mother Planning ‘Haven” for Unvaccinated Children.” The Daily Telegraph website:   Worth, T. 12 Myths and facts about vaccines. Health website:,,20476515,00.html   Special thanks to TheAustralian for the main image.
Candice C

Candice is a school teacher and a mother, She loves writing about practical guides and of course, parenting advice.


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