15 Apr 2010

GPs call for more education about immunisation

7:35 pm on 15 April 2010

The Royal College of General Practitioners says more education is needed if doctors are to meet the Government's target for childhood immunisation.

The college made its submission to a health select committee hearing into improving completion rates of childhood immunisation on Thursday.

The immunisation rate for two-year-old children is about 85% and the Government has set a target for this to reach 95% by 2012.

The vice-president of the Royal College of GPs, Tony Townsend, says about 5% of parents make a conscious decision to not immunise their children, and that is fine.

He says their focus is on the parents who fall through the gaps and are perhaps not receiving the proper education or information on immunisation.

Mr Townsend says coordinating nursing services, and better recall and reminder systems would help improve the immunisation rate.

He says in high depravation areas, places such as churches and maraes could be used to educate about immunisation, but in order to do this more funding is needed.