In today’s time, prevention of certain communicable diseases and protection against potentially harmful disorders is achievable through proper vaccination. In this context, the Public Health Association of Australia has proposed the adoption of a definite Immunisation Policy to facilitate the adoption and effective implementation of a suitable, proactive public health interaction strategy to foster the utilization of immunization among the common masses (phaa.net.au, 2017).
The Australian Government in coalition with the State Health Departments as well as the immunization providers will be entrusted with the responsibility of driving, informing, regulating monitoring and enforcing the related immunization or vaccination policies among the stakeholders encompassing the community dwellers, persons associated with the workplace and healthcare organizations. The communities identified of having low vaccination coverage across various age groups in addition to those who are opposed to vaccination apart from the socially less privileged communities are likely to be benefited by this policy (phaa.net.au, 2017). Children, adolescents and adults will constitute the optimal immunization coverage through equitable access of receiving vaccination across both public and private sectors. The incidences of vaccine preventable diseases may thus be mitigated through implementation of immunization policy. The timely and effective intervention of immunization program through necessary changes made in the immunization schedule will be carried out through implementation of the requisite policy (Groom et al., 2015).
Importance of the Policy
The invention of vaccines has been a path breaking achievement in mitigating the rates of hospitalization, deaths as well as health care expenditures in relation to vaccine preventable diseases. The effective collaboration among the private and public healthcare sectors have opened up newer avenues for engaging in immunization programs that aim to address the vaccinations pertinent to the relevant population. Therefore the significance of this policy will be heightened and more pronounced in the days to come as several life threatening diseases are capable of being controlled under the impact of efficient immunization regime operated and monitored on a regular basis by the competent authorities. Hence, in this regard mention may be made of pertinent evidences based on thorough and systematic literature reviews available in various peer reviewed journals.
The efficacy of the influenza vaccine effectiveness concerning the abatement of influenza disease in children and young was examined in a study by assessing the rates of hospitalization in Western Australian region. The study findings revealed that even after the proven efficacy of the influenza vaccine in cutting down the rates of vaccination, the uptakes of vaccines were low thereby suggesting for further increased uptakes of the vaccines by the vulnerable population to recognize the efficiency of influenza virus protection against influenza hospitalization for children. The surveillance networks have been recommended to be fruitful in case of rendering the annual influenza vaccination thereby aiding in and paving the way for the development of national immunization policy (Blyth et al., 2015).
Another study evaluated the concept of vaccines for older adults in order to maintain equity in terms of disease prevention. The proceedings of a national workshop with the same purpose in Australia were reviewed in the paper. Current evidences revolving around immunization in case of older adults, impediments for prevention of infection in the same population in conjunction with identification of immunization needs of the concerned group were also discussed. Suitable recommendations were made with respect to inform device of appropriate policy. Promotion of vaccination schedules among the community members and healthcare providers to ameliorate the burden of vaccine preventable diseases prevalent among the older adults through increased levels of vaccination coverage. The issues encompassing poorer vaccination coverage, attitudes pertaining to the healthcare provider along with immunosenescence aspects are prioritized to account for implementing novel vaccine strategies that will serve the purpose holistically. The existing gap of immunization between the adults and children requires to be narrowed to ensure a healthy ageing in case of the older population through vaccination protocols (MacIntyre eta l., 2016).
In a paper that highlighted the recommendations made in a stakeholder workshop occurring in the Australian region, suggestions were put forward for improving the access to immunization for migrants and refugees. Australia being the melting pot of all cultures due to entry of various migrants from diverse cultures enhances the necessity to undertake suitable immunization intervention. The Australia’s National Immunization Program (NIP) also necessitates the incorporation of this vulnerable population into the policy structure to address the catch up immunization regimes thereby curbing the near miss outs if ay present. Recommendations included improvement of community engagement and education to support immunization drives, refugee service coordination among others thereby indicating the need to implement definite policy (Kpozehouen etal., 2016).
Another recent study focused on the brimming issue of many of the parents who declined vaccination for their children due to certain pre-conceived notions and perceptions. As a consequence the practicing physicians and the immunizing nurses encounter several challenges in tackling those parents who refused to vaccinate their children. Therefore these healthcare professionals try to engage in effective strategies to mitigate the issue and navigate through the challenges. Hence a thorough exploration and information regarding this matter along with mobilization of clinical rapport coupled with adoption of a general principle without harming the therapeutic relationship has been suggested (Berry et al., 2017). Therefore the framing of the immunization policy will further strengthen these associations and aid in proper conduction of the immunization campaign involving all ends concerned.
Implementation of the Policy
Optimal efficacy of the immunization strategies may only be achieved through adoption of effective strategies to put in force the proposed policy that in turn will help in reducing the incidences of vaccine preventable diseases. Immunisation policy has been a forerunner amongst the Australian social security initiative with the Maternity Immunisation Allowance being a prime example (Taylor, Gray & Stanton, 2016). Concerns regarding the welfare of children must be shared and linked to the parental attitude towards the reception of the governmental benefits. In this context, precautions and adequate measures must be taken so as to ensure timely and suitable communication in relation to the changes occurring in the immunization schedule through additional support coming from related resources and appropriate sponsorships.
Revamp and building up of effective vaccination program and strategies are integral to the inclusion of all stakeholders to receive the vaccination regime. The coverage of influenza vaccination among the Australian healthcare workers vary considerably thereby necessitating the importance of increasing the rates of vaccination uptakes among this potentially vulnerable population (To et al., 2016). A multi faceted approach is desirable to promote the vaccination uptake rates through greater availability of feasible vaccination services. Mandatory vaccine policies in conjunction with promulgation of practice guidelines and enforcement of the competent authorities’ suggestions might also bore fruitful results. State and local governments must work in synergy with the healthcare providers both at the private and public sectors to harbor maximum benefits and make necessary amendments to proposed immunization policy.
Further in connection to matter related to child vaccination proper guidelines and adequate workforce are required to carry forward the task of increasing the awareness related to immunization thereby improving the childcare and enhancing the health status of the future generation. Introduction of area-specific immunization mandates applicable to the children belonging to the pre-defined region will improve both the short term as well as long term uptakes of vaccination (Lee & Robinson, 2016).
Moreover another efficient way of effectively implementing the proposed policy will be to imposition of penalties in cases of vaccine rejections by means of undertaking satisfactory scrutiny procedures. In undertaking such measures potential benefits may be obtained that include increase in the immunization rates, diminished risk of exposure to partial vaccination in children receiving child care facilities through improved awareness and knowledge regarding the significance of immunization (Leask & Danchin, 2017). Thus policy implementation strategy must make holistic considerations of situational verification of all stakeholders involved.
Berry, N. J., Henry, A., Danchin, M., Trevena, L. J., Willaby, H. W., & Leask, J. (2017). When parents won’t vaccinate their children: a qualitative investigation of australian primary care providers’ experiences. BMC pediatrics, 17(1), 19.
Blyth, C. C., Cheng, A. C., Finucane, C., Jacoby, P., Effler, P. V., Smith, D. W., & Richmond, P. C. (2015). The effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing hospitalisation in children in Western Australia. Vaccine, 33(51), 7239-7244.
Groom, H., Hopkins, D. P., Pabst, L. J., Morgan, J. M., Patel, M., Calonge, N., & Rasulnia, B. (2015). Immunization information systems to increase vaccination rates: a community guide systematic review. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 21(3), 227-248.
Kpozehouen, E., Heywood, A. E., Kay, M., Smith, M., Paudel, P., Sheikh, M., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2016). Improving access to immunisation for migrants and refugees: recommendations from a stakeholder workshop. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health.
Leask, J., & Danchin, M. (2017). Imposing penalties for vaccine rejection requires strong scrutiny. Journal of paediatrics and child health.
Lee, C., & Robinson, J. L. (2016). Systematic review of the effect of immunization mandates on uptake of routine childhood immunizations. Journal of Infection, 72(6), 659-666.
MacIntyre, C. R., Menzies, R., Kpozehouen, E., Chapman, M., Travaglia, J., Woodward, M., & Adair, T. (2016). Equity in disease prevention: Vaccines for the older adults–a national workshop, Australia 2014. Vaccine, 34(46), 5463-5469.
Phaa.net.au,. (2017). Immunisation Policy - Public Health Association of Australia. Retrieved 25 March 2017, from https://www.phaa.net.au/documents/item/879
Taylor, D. R., Gray, M., & Stanton, D. (2016). New conditionality in Australian social security policy. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 51(1), 3.
To, K. W., Lai, A., Lee, K. C. K., Koh, D., & Lee, S. S. (2016). Increasing the coverage of influenza vaccination in healthcare workers: review of challenges and solutions. Journal of Hospital Infection, 94(2), 133-142.