Here’s what I turned up about the Maternity Immunisation Allowance.

It was established in 1997 by Dr Michael Wooldridge, the then Federal Minister for Health and Family Services, in response to low levels of immunisation in Australia.

The new initiatives were designed to reach the 97 per cent of parents who are in favour of immunisation, but who did not finish the full vaccination regime.

During the launch, Dr Wooldridge said; “With such a high rate of acceptance of immunisation, it is appalling that only 53 per cent of Australian children are fully immunised for their age. This leaves all children at risk of contracting vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and German measles.”

“Present childhood immunisation rates in Australia are among the worst in western countries and lower than many Third World countries.”

Dr Wooldridge said the Federal Government was so concerned about the low rates of childhood immunisation that it had put its full weight behind an ambitious national strategy to significantly improve immunisation compliance.

This included the introduction of the Maternity Immunisation Allowance, a non-means tested bonus to encourage parents to fully immunise their children and the offer of financial incentives to medical practitioners as part of the Better Practice Program.

The Maternity Immunisation Allowance aims to encourage parents or guardians to fully immunise children in their care. Maternity Immunisation Allowance is a payment for children aged 18 to 24 months who are fully immunised or have an approved exemption from immunisation.

However, you can still get the money even if you don’t get your kids vaccinated. Following is an excerpt from the exemption clause.

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  • Andy

    Looks good now that you’ve activated “pick a name”

    Two returns is pretty normal and retains formatting on all those old “.” comments. So unless there’s some other issue, I’d stick with this.

    Thanks heaps for caring 🙂

  • DrRachie

    What do you think? Ok? I can switch back if you want. Nothing has been replaced.

  • Andy

    Oooh paragraphs! 🙂
    Nice! (one return, or two?)

    Just testing.

    Edit… hmmm. Two.

  • Ok, I’ve had a browse through that long document and it’s impossible for me to know whether the quotes from transcripts posted by the author are accurate without accessing them myself. Since I am aware that the author is an anti-vaxer it is equally difficult me to trust her assessment. What she is saying may well be true but I don’t know and given her previous work I am inclined to suspect she may be cherry picking. Impossible to say.

  • I haven’t read the Tomlijenovic document yet but she is a rabid anti-vaxer from the lab of equally rabid anti-vaxer Chris Shaw, so there is sure to be plenty of bias in the pdf you provided. I would hardly classify mercury as a less discussed ingredient of vaccines (and actually Shaw et al has done plenty of work on Al2+). I’ll try to find time to read this.

  • Ivan

    Hi, I always think when science is involved citing your sources is a must. On that note can you provide some scientist studies that actually examined “herd immunity”?
    I can direct you to some interesting research which discusses some of the less discussed ingredients of vaccines, namely mercury and aluminium.
    Here I present the documentation which appears to show that the JCVI made continuous efforts to withhold critical data on severe adverse reactions and contraindications to vaccinations to both parents and health practitioners in order to reach overall vaccination rates which they deemed were necessary for “herd immunity”, a concept which with regards to vaccination, and contrary to prevalent beliefs, does not rest on solid scientific evidence as will be explained. As a result of such vaccination policy promoted by the JCVI and the DH, many children have been vaccinated without their parents being disclosed the critical information about demonstrated risks of serious adverse reactions, one that the JCVI appeared to have been fully aware of. It would also appear that, by withholding this information, the JCVI/DH neglected the right of individuals to make an informed consent concerning vaccination. By doing so, the JCVI/DH may have violated not only International Guidelines for Medical Ethics (i.e., Helsinki Declaration and the International Code of Medical Ethics) [2] but also, their own Code of Practice ( dh_digitalassets/@dh/@ab/documents/digitalasset/dh_115363.pdf). Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD

  • Michelle

    Great post Louisa! You have clearly gone into your research with an OPEN mind, looking for what is best for your child – unlike others who only regard as credible, ‘information’ that supports their bias. I read lines like “leeching off the rest of us who do comply thereby benefiting from they herd immunity we provide” and cringe that people still believe herd immunity is real! My whole life I believed in that concept too, until I became informed of not just the risks of vaccination, but the efficacy (lack of) of vaccines.

    While people remain so emotive about it and refuse to see or discuss the facts, the manufacturers of these products will continue to get away with not bothering to put money behind making them more safe or effective. And yet continue to be one of the most profitable and influential industries.

    As for claiming your child’s entitlement as per government rules – no fraud required, a) it’s not exactly obvious that you can claim the “Maternity Immunisation Allowance” if you don’t vaccinate your baby, and b) most parents I know aren’t out there trying to “prove a point”, they’re doing what they believe best for their children and they are liable to pay the same taxes as everyone else. And considering GP visits are covered for free but homeopath visits are not, those being proactive with their health (who rarely see the inside of a GP’s room) need all the financial assistance they can get.

  • Don’t make the mistake of assuming those who don’t vaccinate are negligent or ignorant. We’re more well read on this subject than 90% of you lot!

    So you’ve just told me not to assume you haven’t done your research yet are happy to say 90% of “us” are not well read. Right…

    As for the rest of your post, nonsense, wrong and full of anti-vax canards. You may have done your research but you haven’t been reading accurate, science-based information.

  • Louisa

    I am one of those “irresponsible, negligent” parents who has chosen, after many long nights & countless hours of research, NOT to vaccinate my daughter.

    Vaccinations are yet to be proven even 90% effective, have highly toxic substances used as ingredients (formaldehyde, Thimerosol & aluminium of various grades) which are PROVEN dangerous when ingested or injected by humans.

    I await the day when a new series of vaccines will be introduced minus these toxic ingredients & think it is pathetic & lazy that this process has barely been started. You will find the reason most people are ANTI-vax is because of these ingredients. Why not solve the issue from the ground up istead?

    In the meantime, I work closely with a Naturopath & Homeopath, putting my daughter on a strict Homeoprophylaxis schedule & series of Immune Boosting and Building Vitamins and Minerals.

    Immune systems are not built up or sustained by the ingredients found in a needle; they never have been nor will they ever be.

    I had chicken pox as a child = immunity. My DH had measles = immunity. Armed with a great deal more knowledge about health & immune function than most people on here have demonstrated, I sleep well at night knowing that my daughter has been exposed to whooping cough, various gastro-intestinal illnesses, flu, chicken pox and she has never been sick. And she’s not even a year old yet so is still highly susceptible to the dangers of these infectious diseases.

    If all the arguments (some well read, other clearly not at all) presented here were true, then she should be very sick with any one of the things she has been exposed to.

    Fact: She isn’t.
    Fact: She isn’t vaccinated.
    Fact: She IS immunised. They are two different things.
    Fact: Needles have never been nor will EVER be what protects the health of man kind.
    Fact: Immune systems aren’t built from drugs. They’re built from health.
    Fact: Read up on this:

    …before you go accusing those of us who choose to be FULLY informed of ALL sides of the equation and then decide NOT to vaccinate.

    There’s more to health & immunity than what the Chemists, Doctors & pharmaceutical companies tell us. I choose to find out more instead of placing the health of my family in the hands of companies who’s products aren’t even 90% effective, thankyou!

    And before you ask, yes, I am refusing the government bribes trying to force me to vaccinate or register as an objector.

    Any other company tried to do that & it would be consider anti-competitive & would be illegal.

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming those who don’t vaccinate are negligent or ignorant. We’re more well read on this subject than 90% of you lot!

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  • miranda

    Oh yeah also the autism debate is over… 18 international trials with a total of half a million people have shown that MMR doesn’t give your kids autism. Latest research says that the older the father the higher the chance of autism,(and schitzophrenia) and 1980s research says post natal depression can increase the chances of it too. That’s becasue the pnd mother isn’t connected emotionally with the kid and thats where emotional communication first develops. Perhaps the correlation of autism in kids with mums with PND could be compared in western countries. Politically incorrect but a good phd topic I would think.

  • miranda

    It’s just a matter of time before a pregnant woman proves that she came into contact with an unvacc kid with the measles and her foetus is disabled because of this. Sadly, we need a law suit like this to shake some sense into the non-vacc parents neglecting their kids and community’s well being. Pregnant women have every right to know when they’re hanging out with non- vacc kids who are putting her foetus at huge risk of miscarriage. As for non vaccers taking taxpayers cash, well I conscientiously object to that and my state and fed MP is going to hear about it. Get angry people, for everyone’s long term health, it’s your civic duty.

  • Fred Mortgan

    While I am not convinced of either argument, I find it interesting that people think it “ethical” to not take the money if they don’t have their kids vaccinated. So people object, for whatever reason, and they should not get any money, but pay for you to have your kids vaccinated. Surely if you believe so strongly that vaccinations are the right thing to do, then the 200bucks should be worth it. Surely the right thing to do is NOT take the money if you believe in vaccinations, after all, you would get it done even if they weren’t giving you free money to do it.

  • Justathought

    Re. the comments for this article: Could these “links” to detected Austism cases and the supposed correlatable increases maybe be that as a society we are more aware of and detect autism at a higher rate than that which it was previously diagnosed?

    Aside from that point, the fact that a monetary incentive needs to be offered to entice people to fully immunise their children is the saddest part of this article.

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  • BastardSheep

    Actually autism rates have been going up regularly in Europe for a while, the last few years vaccination rates in both locations (and more) have gone down, autism still goes up.

    I suggest you look up the difference between correlation and causation. Just because two numbers correlate to some degree, does not make them related in the slightest. The lack of correlation in the last few years once vaccination rates started dropping backs that up.

  • John Fryer


    The situation in Australia is not the same as for USA, England, Japan or Europe as a whole.

    What is the rate of autism in Australia in 2009 and in past years?

    USA with the highest vaccinations has the highest autism and Europe with low numbers of vaccinations has the lowest rates of autism.

    It would therefore be simple to compare autism in vaccinated and non vaccinated children very easily if the rate of vaccination is around the 50 per cent level.

  • Yes, perhaps that is part of the reason. At least they have to listen to the doctor’s spiel before signing a “conscientious objector” form. I just think the objectors should have the nous to not take the money. Why do they need to sign a form anyway? They could just as easily not get the vaccine and leave the $200 for the sensible people who are protecting their kids anyway.

  • I guess the reasoning is that if you get them in the clinic that there is greater chance that they might change their mind or see sense.

    That being said it still smells like a rort?

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