Support for anti-vax ban | POLL

The proprietor of two Dubbo childcare facilities says he backs plans by the NSW Government to prevent unvaccinated children from attending centres.

On Wednesday night the NSW parliament passed a Bill to amend the Public Health Act to introduce stronger requirements for families enrolling children into early childhood education and care centres.

Children on an approved catch-up vaccination schedule or children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will still be able to be enrolled.

Nick Sykes, who operates Red Gum Childcare Centre and Peppercorn Childcare Centre, says his facilities have never had issues with unvaccinated children, but said the move will help avoid any awkward situations moving forward.

“Anything to keep kids safe, we support,” Mr Sykes said.

“We haven’t been asked directly in any way about the changes, but given that they will be of benefit to the children who attend our centres then we support that.

“Obviously there are some exemptions, medical reasons for example, but hopefully these changes will stop the couple of per cent of people out there who don’t vaccinate.”

Figures from NSW Health have revealed that more than 93 per cent of children in NSW are fully vaccinated at one and five years of age, and only 1.15 per cent of children between zero and seven years old had parents who registered as conscientious objectors. 

The move puts NSW in step with Victoria and Queensland's 'No Jab No Play' rules and coincides with the federal government's 'No Jab, No Pay' policy, which strips families of certain childcare and family tax benefits if a child is unvaccinated.

"The NSW government and the majority of the NSW community have achieved outstanding vaccination rates but there's no room for complacency," health minister Brad Hazzard said.

"We have spent more than any other state government to protect our community through vaccination because the overwhelming scientific evidence is that vaccination is safe and highly effective in preventing disease.

"However, all it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness, so we are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families."

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