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North Burnett nurses praised for vaccine effort

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s North Burnett community nurses are achieving excellent outcomes as part of the School Immunisation Program, consistently reaching well above the state benchmark.

Wide Bay Public Health Physician Dr Margaret Young was full of praise for community nurses Angela Slack and Jenny Williams, who in many cases are achieving better coverage than in the bigger centres.

“The benchmark for immunisations in secondary school is 85%.  Across Queensland very few school immunisation program providers are getting near this target, but in the North Burnett we’re consistently seeing coverage rates from 88% right up to 100%, depending on the year group and vaccine,” Dr Young said.

“That’s an excellent result, because what it really means is that our rural nursing team is helping us to protect North Burnett secondary students from a range of potentially dangerous viruses and infections we know we can prevent.

“These include human papillomavirus infections, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and meningococcal disease.”

Across Wide Bay, the School Immunisation Program is carried out through a combination of WBHHS teams and third-party providers.

“In the North Burnett, our own nurses directly take care of immunisations and they’re very effective,” Dr Young said.

“Part of the reason for that is because they live in a smaller community, so they’re more likely to directly follow up with children and parents.

“But it’s also because school immunisations are an important public health initiative, and our teams are very passionate about delivering them.

“If they haven’t got them already, parents will soon be receiving immunisation permission forms for their children in years 7 and 10.

“I encourage them to return the forms as soon as possible and maintain our excellent record of protecting our children through simple, safe and effective vaccines.”

Last updated: 26 July 2019