Vaccine funding refusal will put lives at risk: AMA
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the Federal Government will put lives at risk if it fails to subsidise the pneumococcal vaccine for all children.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the Federal Government will put lives at risk if it fails to subsidise the pneumococcal vaccine for all children.The Federal Health Minister’s office is not commenting on speculation the Government is set to refuse funding for a universal vaccination program.In 2002, 10 children under the age of two died of pneumococcal infection. Those who survive often become severely disabled.The AMA’s children’s health spokesman, Dr Michael Rice, says the Government will be ignoring its own expert advice if it fails to fund the vaccine.”No child needs to die from pneumococcal infection. We have a perfectly effective vaccine available,” he said.”It is not necessary for any further Australian children to die from pneumococcal infection.”The Federal Opposition has agreed with the calls but has refused to make its own commitment to such a program.Shadow Health Minister Julia Gillard says it would be a travesty if the Government chose not to fund the vaccination program.”A prosperous nation ought to be able to afford basic health care like vaccinations for all Australian children,” she said. “It really would be a crime if whether or not you could get your baby vaccinated depended on your disposable income.”(Source: ABC Health News, April 2004)