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.
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.
a recognised immunisation provider (e.g. your doctor) signs a letter or form saying that:
• they have told you about the benefits and risks of immunising your child and you have a conscientious objection to immunising your child (your provider should complete a Health Insurance Commission Immu-12 form),
• immunising your child with a particular vaccine is medically contraindicated (your provider should use the Health Insurance Commission Immu-11 form),
• the child has a natural immunity to the disease, or
• the vaccine is not available,
• you or your partner are a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist and you have a letter from an official of the Church advising that you are a practising member of the Church.
I find it very interesting that this is never mentioned by the anti-vacc crowd. They are very quick to accuse GPs of being involved in some “big pharma” conspiracy since they also receive financial incentives to vaccinate and talk to parents about immunisation.
Did they forget to mention they also get paid for leeching off the rest of us who do comply thereby benefiting from they herd immunity we provide?
And as my mum who alerted me to this story said, if they are so opposed to vaccination shouldn’t they decline to take the money out of principle?