Australia to fine parents who don't vaccinate their children

Australia now fines parents who refuse to vaccinate their children [Photo: Pexels]

Australia has clamped down on its ‘no jab, no pay’ policy by issuing further fines for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Back in 2016, the revolutionary initiative withheld end of year tax benefits from families which refused to vaccinate their children.

But in a bid to crack down on even further, stricter sanctions kick-started this week. Now, citizens who refuse to keep up to date with immunisations face losing A$28 (approximately £16) from their tax benefits every two weeks.

The news comes after the Australian government reported a rise in children under the age of seven with a ‘conscientious objection’ to immunisation. Figures soared from 0.23 percent in December 1999 to 1.77 percent in December 2014.

Should parents be given the right to decide whether or not their children are vaccinated? [Photo: Pexels]

According to Australia’s Minister for Social Services, Dan Tehan, the new measures are designed to help protect youngsters from life-threatening illnesses.

“Immunisation is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases,” he announced in a statement. “Parents who don’t immunise their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people.”

And the country’s crackdown seems to be working. A report from ABC News indicates that since the initial ‘no jab, no pay’ scheme was launched two years ago, 246,000 more children have received their vaccinations.

But the debate around vaccinating children remains a thorny topic in the UK, as a study back in February revealed that a third of parents refuse to give their kids the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) jab.

The YouGov survey of 5,004 adults found that 30 percent of parents believe it is acceptable not to give their children the vaccine while over 53 percent disagreed.

The virus remains a threat in the UK, as The Independent reports that 643 cases were recorded up to 18 June this year in comparison to 274 throughout 2017.

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