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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2002 Feb;26(1):58-64.

Increases in vaccination coverage for children in child care, 1997 to 2000: an evaluation of the impact of government incentives and initiatives.

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Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Women's & Children's Health, Victoria.



To compare vaccination coverage of children in child care before (1997) and after (2000) implementation of government immunisation strategies including parent/providers incentives and surveillance of vaccination uptake.


Cross-sectional parent surveys of vaccination coverage for children (<3 years old regularly attending child care) in 47 child care centres and 19 councils operating family day care in metropolitan Melboume.


Data were collected for 1,578 (72%) children in 1997 and 1,793 (72%) in 2000. In 2000, 93% were completely immunised, a 9% (95% CI 6%-11%, p<0.001) increase from 1997. Less than 1% of children were unimmunised (0.8% in 1997, 0.5% in 2000). For those >2 years, 94% were completely immunised before their second birthday in 2000 compared with 80% in 1997. Immunisation levels were 10% (95% Cl 6-12) higher in 2000 than in 1997 for those receiving child care benefits compared with a 7% (95% Cl 3-10) increase for families not receiving benefits. In 1997, 8 (17%) child care centres and 4 (21%) councils reported > or = 90% children completely immunised increasing to 33 (70%) and 16 (84%) in 2000 respectively. Fewer families reported delaying immunisations because of minor illness in 2000 (27%) compared to 1997 (44%, p<.001). Updating immunisation data by child care coordinators increased from 51% in 1997 to 98% in 2000.


A substantial increase in immunisation uptake has been achieved for this population of young children attending child care. This study provides evidence that the increase in vaccination rates is attributable to some extent to increased surveillance of immunisation rates and both parent and provider incentives to immunise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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