"THE Federal Government will withhold more than $2100 in tax benefits for families who refuse to vaccinate their children.

The move is a drive by the Gillard Government to boost vaccination rates, with one in 10 Australian children not immunised.

It comes as part of a major shake-up of the national immunisation program which includes the introduction of more vaccines.

Children will have to be vaccinated against chicken pox, meningococcal C and pneumococcal from July 1, 2013.

A new combination vaccine will also be added to the program in 2013 to protect children against four different diseases - measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.

This vaccine will be given to children at 18 months, instead of the age of four when they had their MMR jab to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

The Government will announce today that from July 1 families will need to have their children fully immunised to receive the family tax benefit part A end-of-year supplement.

The supplement, worth $726 per child each year, will now only be paid once a child is fully immunised at one, two and five years of age, meaning more than $2100 could be withheld.

A new immunisation check will be introduced for one year olds to supplement the existing checks at two and five years of age.

Families are already required to have their child fully vaccinated to receive the childcare rebate and childcare benefit.

The new arrangements will replace the maternity immunisation allowance which provides $129 for families who meet immunisation requirements when their child is two and five.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said: "We know that immunisation is fundamental to a child's lifelong health and that's why we want to make sure that children are immunised at the right time.

"We want all Australian kids to grow up healthy, and immunisation is essential to that."

The Government will also announce a new campaign to advise parents and healthcare providers on what they can do to protect their babies from whooping cough.

New parents will receive letters providing information on immunising against whooping cough, and how to identify the disease and prevent it spreading."


A baby's immune system is not fully developed until he/she is about six months-old. In the meantime, pregnant mothers pass immunoglobulin antibodies from their bloodstream, through the placenta, and to the fetus. These antibodies are an essential part of the fetus's immune system. They identify and bind to harmful substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that enter the body. This triggers other immune cells to destroy the foreign substance.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the only antibody that crosses the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy. IgG antibodies are the smallest, but most abundant antibodies, making up 75-80% of all the antibodies in the body. They are present in all body fluids and they are considered to be the most important antibodies for fighting against bacterial and viral infections. These antibodies help protect the fetus from developing an infection inside the womb.

Immediately after birth, the newborn has high levels of the mother's antibodies in the bloodstream. Babies who are breastfed continue to receive antibodies via breast milk. Breast milk contains all five types of antibodies, including immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin D (IgD), immunoglobulin E (IgE), IgG, and immunoglobulin M (IgM). This is called passive immunity because the mother is "passing" her antibodies to her child. This helps prevent the baby from developing diseases and infections.

During the next several months, the antibodies passed from the mother to the infant steadily decrease. When healthy babies are about two to three months old, the immune system will start producing its own antibodies. During this time, the baby will experience the body's natural low point of antibodies in the bloodstream. This is because the maternal antibodies have decreased, and young children, who are making antibodies for the first time, produce them at a much slower rate than adults.
Once healthy babies reach six months of age, their antibodies are produced at a normal rate.


Other names for mercury

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that is found in many consumer and medical products.

Other Names for Mercury Products
Sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate
[(o-carboxyphenyl)thio] Ethylmercury sodium salt
Ethyl (2-mercaptobenzoato-S) mercury sodium salt