Parents who object to vaccinating their children will soon be without childcare options after NSW followed Victoria’s example to beef-up ‘no job, no play’ legislation.
Under the Public Health Act amendment, passed on Wednesday night, stronger requirements will be introduced from January 1, 2018.
From next year, NSW providers will not be able to enrol new children who are unvaccinated because their parents are conscientious objectors or anti-vaxxers.
Under the previous legislation, registering as a conscientious objector was a valid exemption.
Unvaccinated children will still be able to be enrolled in there is a medical reason and certificate provided or if the child is on a recognised immunisation catch-up schedule.
Directors of childcare centres who fail to comply and those who falsify vaccination certificates will face fines of up to $5500.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said there was ‘overwhelming scientific evidence’ vaccination was safe and a highly effective disease prevention tactic.
“All it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness,” he said.
“We are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families."
In January, Victoria toughened their ‘no jab, no play’ laws requiring all children to have a record of immunisation to be enrolled, unless medically exempt.
Ninety-three per cent of NSW children and 93.5 per cent of Victorian children are vaccinated but at least 95 per cent is required to create ‘herd immunity’ and stop the spread of diseases.