Compulsory flu vaccinations and the “No Jab, No Pay” Act

27 April 2020

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the key medical decision-making committee for health emergencies, has advised that all residential aged care staff and visiting workers should be vaccinated by 1 May 2020.

Annual vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the impact of the flu in the community, especially in aged care homes. To help prevent and stop the spread of flu in aged care, we must have processes in place.

The science is settled. Vaccination is one of the most important public health measures we have at our disposal. The Government and the Opposition are in agreement on this and are listening to the advice of the medical experts, researchers and doctors.

While a flu vaccination will not prevent COVID-19, it is critical to protecting the health of older Australians, who are more susceptible to contracting influenza as well as reduce pressure on our health care system during this COVID-19 crisis.

Regarding the “No Jab, No Pay” Act, Labor believes that parents should have the final say in making health decisions about their child, but there is a strong public interest in ensuring children are immunised.

The Australian Medical Association, the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and countless other experts all agree that immunisation is the safest and most effective way for parents to protect their children from disease.

That is why in Government we introduced changes to family payments with a view to lifting immunisation rates, including linking the Family Tax Benefit end of year supplements to immunisation.

We do not support repealing this legislation.