26 February: Scenic Rim Regional Council has endorsed the renewal of its agreement with Queensland Health to continue to provide the free School Immunisation Program from now until to December 2021.
Scenic Rim Regional Council has endorsed the renewal of its agreement with Queensland Health to continue to provide the free School Immunisation Program from now until to December 2021.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the program, with a team of registered nurses conducting immunisation clinics at public and private secondary schools, was a vital part of Council's role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of Scenic Rim communities.
"This is a critical public health prevention program to protect adolescents in our community against vaccine-preventable diseases," he said.
"School immunisation programs are regarded by the Federal and State Governments as the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering essential teenage immunisation services for vaccines included under the National Immunisation Program Schedule."
In 2019, and as recommended by the National Immunisation Schedule, all Year 7 students will be offered two free doses of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and one free dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and all Year 10 students will again be offered one free dose of the Meningococcal vaccine against the A,C,W and Y strains.
"Sadly, each year - despite the ready availability of free vaccines - we still hear of babies who die after contracting whooping cough and many older members of our communities will remember outbreaks of polio and its crippling effects in an era before immunisation was available," Cr Christensen said.
"While meningococcal disease is rare, it can cause death within 24 hours or profound and permanent disability including brain damage or the loss of limbs and the Human Papillomavirus is known for causing a range of cancers."
Council's School Immunisation Program provides vaccinations to eligible students at Tamborine Mountain College, Tamborine Mountain State High School, Beaudesert State High School, McAuley College, Boonah State High School and The Kooralbyn International School.
As the 2019 school year commenced, immunisation forms were sent home with students with a due date for return to their school by Wednesday 13 February. Clinics will begin operating on Wednesday 13 March 2019.
During 2018, Council's immunisation team provided a total of 1,930 immunisations to Scenic Rim secondary students in the program run under an agreement between Council and Queensland Health's Metro South Hospital and Health Service via the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Under the renewed agreement, all Council staff providing face-to-face services under the program must now satisfy Queensland Health that they have been immunised against or are immune to Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chicken Pox), Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
Published: 26 February 2019