Doctors urge parents to vaccinate after confirmed cases of Measles in WA

Several babies in Western Australia have been infected by measles after a “non-vaccinating” family brought the preventable disease back from Bali.

This latest instance is another example of when parents choose not to vaccinate, they are choosing to risk the lives of not only their own children, but babies too young to be vaccinated, and other vulnerable members of our community.

As quoted in a recent edition of The West Australian newspaper a family who had not immunised their three children returned from a Bali holiday with one of their children infected with measles resulting in an increase in the confirmed cases of measles in infants in the area.

“People wonder why we get so concerned by small numbers of cases like this but this is exactly how a bushfire starts,” commented President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Miller said to the newspaper.

“Unvaccinated families are essentially walking around our cities in summer throwing matches into dry grass, and suddenly you can get a wild fire that destroys lives.

“It’s either out of laziness or because they’re reading strange things on the internet instead of listening to the real experts.”

Babies are not vaccinated against measles until they are 12 months old. Please do your bit to help protect them

Source: thewest.com.au

Vaccine Needle

Catherine Hughes celebrates news of WA vaccination rates

Catherine Hughes expressed her recent joy on the news that her home state of Western Australia can now boast one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world.

The passing of her baby boy Riley, from the vaccine preventable disease Pertussis (whooping cough) made headlines around the world through her and her husbands fierce campaigning to educate parents and expectant mothers against the dangers of choosing not to vaccinate.

The campaigning created huge momentum through their social media page Light For Riley and resulted in several changes being made at both state and federal levels.

Since Riley’s unnecessary passing from the disease the federal government implemented their ‘No jab No pay’ legislation withdrawing government benefits to those parents who choose not vaccinate.  In addition to this the Hughes family experienced one of the biggest triumphs in their plight which was to ensure that the Whooping Cough vaccine was readily available and free to pregnant women.

Catherine reflects on these milestones and the exciting news that Western Australia is leading the way in stomping out vaccine preventable diseases through immunisation.

Read the full article here: Catherine Hughes speaks to The West Australian about Success for Free Whopping Cough Vaccine

Catherine Hughes interview for The West Australian. Photo Credit: Ross Swanborough, The West Australian

South Australia proposes review into immunisation and childcare

South Australia’s health minister, Mr Jack Snelling is proposing a law to give childcare centres the power to refuse unvaccinated children.

This would mean that at particular childcare centres, parents could be confident their baby/toddler is better protected from preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, meningococcal and whooping cough.

The suggested review of the new legislation for childcare centres comes off the back of a 300% increase of confirmed measles cases in Gawler. This in conjunction with figures being released identifying that South Australia’s immunisation rate is below 95%.  95% is the official rate required for residents to be vaccinated in order to protect the surrounding community and prevent outbreaks of disease.

New South Wales and Victoria have already enforced legislation preventing parents from enrolling their child into a childcare centre if they are unable to provide current immunisation records or an approved exemption.

The proposed legislation that the South Australian Health Minister is considering at this stage is more-so protecting childcare centres against lawsuits by giving them the right to refuse a child’s enrollment on the basis of the child not being immunised.

 

Welcome to the official launch of the IFA and our new website!

Today we are incredibly honoured and excited to officially launch our foundation, the Immunisation Foundation of Australia. When Riley passed away at 32 days old from whooping cough, we were distraught but determined to honour his short little life by making a positive change in our country. We firmly believe that no child in Australia, if not the world, should die from any disease that is easily prevented by a simple vaccine.

If you would like to make a contribution to help us raise awareness about vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of immunisation, donations can now be made by clicking the link below: https://www.immunisationfoundation.org.au/donations/

We are so grateful for any support and are so hopeful that our foundation will help to improve and save the lives of babies and children.

If you would like to read more about our vision, mission & purposes, please see here: https://www.immunisationfoundation.org.au/about-ifa/

From our whole family – thank you so much for all your support. It is so sincerely appreciated, from the bottom of our hearts!

– Catherine, Greg & family.

Greg and Catherine Hughes on Sunday Night program

Greg and Catherine Hughs have taken part in a story on 7’s ‘Sunday Night‘ program this weekend to raise awareness about whooping cough and vaccination. “We had their cameras with us as we welcomed Riley’s new baby sister to the world – a really strange & emotional experience but hopefully all worthwhile!”

Please tune in this Sunday night, 11th of September and share this journey with the Hughes family as they continue to promote the message of the importance of immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases.

 

 

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Catherine Hughes Nominated for Women of the Future Award

Last year Australia embraced and supported Catherine and Greg Hughes as they mourned the loss of their baby boy Riley.  Riley contracted whooping cough and despite the hospital staffs best efforts and Riley’s fight, he passed away at 32 days old from the disease.

In tribute to their son Riley and in testament to their strength, Greg and Catherine set up the Light for Riley campaign to share their story and more importantly, raise awareness to the importance of immunisation in children and adults alike.

Their determination paid off with meetings with ministers, health officials and the support of a nation. In addition to the No Jab No Pay legislation being introduced shortly after Riley’s passing, Catherine has raised over $75,000 for research and donated over 100,000 vaccines.

In addition to being a truly amazing woman, we congratulate Catherine on making the semi-finalist of the 2016 Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future Award.

We encourage you to vote for this incredible individual who has been a role model to us all that in the face of adversity and personal tragedy, greatness can come.

Watch Catherine’s video here

 

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Melbourne Pregnancy and Babies Expo 2016

A big thank you to all of the incredible immunisation nurses who volunteered their time this weekend to vaccinate 438 expecting parents against whooping cough at the Melbourne Pregnancy & Babies expo on the weekend. You have helped to protect many little lives from this nasty disease!

Unfortunately, in other parts of Australia, many Dads-to-be (and partners of pregnant women) are unable to get their hands on these boosters. They are not provided for free in most states (except VIC & NT), and therefore expectant Dads are forced to try their luck at obtaining stock privately, which is difficult due to major shortages around the country.

Parents want to do the right thing and vaccinate themselves to protect their vulnerable newborns. I hope more can be done by health departments around the country to ensure that these boosters can be more easily accessed.