Australia’s government has a new solution to the issue of parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. It’s called “No Jab, No Pay”.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the government would begin withholding “childcare rebates” and other government benefits to families who don’t vaccinate their children and the new policy is set to go into effect now.
“It’s a very important public health announcement, it’s a very important measure to keep our children and our families as safe as possible.” Tony Abbott said.
This isn’t the first move against the anti-vaccination parents by the Australian government. In fact, in 2014, the government blocked the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, a group that campaigns against vaccination, from continuing to qualify as a charity and receive donations, citing “misinformation”.
A similar movement against vaccines has started up in the U.S. in recent years, despite overwhelming evidence that childhood vaccines are safe — not to mention completely necessary for the prevention of potentially devastating childhood illnesses like measles, rubella and whooping cough.
Many in the anti-vaccination community cite a now-debunked medical paper that claimed there was a link between a common childhood vaccine and autism spectrum disorders. The original paper has since been retracted but the rumors continue.
A video released by Good Magazine outlined some of the terrifying effects of anti-vaccine campaigners in the developed world: In 2008, there were 923 outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in North America, but by 2014, that number had dramatically increased to 58,051.
In Australia in 2008, there were no reported cases of vaccine-preventable illnesses, but by 2014 there were 2,614 cases.
The goal of Australia’s “No Jab, No Pay” initiative is to encourage more parents to vaccinate their children and to slow the increasing numbers who are refusing vaccines. While childhood vaccination rates in the country are still over 90 percent, it’s reported that a worrying “39,000 children aged under seven were not vaccinated because of their parents’ objections — an increase of more than 24,000 children over the past decade.”
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