Greg Bell, Deputy Director of Public Health for the NNSW LHD said recent outbreaks in NSW of measles and whooping cough means babies and young children are most at risk.
“Timely immunisation is the best protection we can give to our children, Mr Bell said.
“We all know parents lead busy lives and time is of the essence. The Save the Date to Vaccinate App makes it quick and easy to remember when their children’s vaccinations are due.
“Parents enter their child’s name and birth date, as well as their GP’s contact details, and the App automatically calculates the next immunisation due date.
“It then sends a series of reminders to prompt the parent to call their GP to schedule an appointment for each immunisation. Parents can make that call straight from the App.”
It’s really important that parents understand the importance of on-time immunisation as delays of just a few weeks can leave a child unprotected and at risk of a serious preventable disease
The innovative App is the centerpiece of the Save the Date to Vaccinate campaign which was first launched last year and is part of a long term strategy by NSW Health to improve on-time childhood vaccination rates in NSW.
Greg Bell said the Save the Date to Vaccinate App had proved to be very popular with more than 42,000 downloads since it was launched in 2013.
“While around 90 per cent of children at one year of age in NSW are fully immunised, 95 per cent coverage is needed for effective disease control,” he/she said.
“Anecdotal data from last year’s campaign shows that around one-third of parents reported that at least one of their children were immunised late, with many wrongly believing that delaying “for a few weeks” didn’t matter.
“It’s really important that parents understand the importance of on-time immunisation as delays of just a few weeks can leave a child unprotected and at risk of a serious preventable disease.
“Most vaccinations need several doses to build long lasting protection – that’s why it’s important for children to complete the full recommended schedule of vaccinations at the recommended times.”
Vaccines to protect against a range of diseases are provided free of charge to children under the National Immunisation Program.
The NSW Health Save the Date to Vaccinate campaign website includes resources such as a printable Personalised Vaccination Schedules and immunisation videos.
Download the SAVE THE DATE App or print a Personalised Vaccination Schedule at www.immunisation.health.nsw.gov.au
For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au