By now everyone would be aware of the execution of Phase one of the WA Government’s strategy to strengthen immunisation rates in Western Australia. This was achieved through changes to the School Education Amendment Regulations and the Public Health Amendment Regulations, which are now in force.
Schools are reminded that, when sighting an Immunisation History Statement (IHS) for a new enrollee, the date of the IHS must be no earlier than two months from the date that the school sights it. The October and December editions of this Newsletter and AISWA’s ‘Welcome to 2019’ letter to schools included information about Phase one, as it relates to schools. More information is available from the WA Health Department website, including links to an ‘FAQs’ document and a ‘Guidelines for Administrators’ document.
Schools are also reminded that the Health Department is expected to be contacting schools direct, during March, to obtain information on students in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Pre-Primary who are under-vaccinated or who have an unknown vaccination status.
Phase two of the strategy involves proposed further changes to the Public Health Act 2016 to exclude children who are not fully vaccinated from enrolling in childcare services, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. It is understood that this additional legislation is expected to be effective from *July 2019, for the 2020 school year enrolment period. *This projected date is dependent on the progression of the Bill.
On Tuesday 6 March the WA Health Department opened the consultation period on the Public Health Amendment (Immunisation Requirements for Enrolment) Bill 2019. The consultation period is open for three weeks until Tuesday 26 March, during which time submissions can be made before the legislation may be subject to parliamentary debate/processes. Please visit the Department of Health ‘Consultation Hub’ to read more about this proposed amendment and to take up the opportunity to provide feedback.