Scenic Rim council announces free immunisation clinics for high school students

VACCINES: A team of registered nurses will visit Scenic Rim high schools offering free immunisation to students.
VACCINES: A team of registered nurses will visit Scenic Rim high schools offering free immunisation to students.

Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen has urged parents to take advantage of council's free immunisation clinics, which will soon be rolled out for year 7 and 10 students at the region's six secondary schools.

Cr Christensen said from Wednesday, February 12 council would be collecting completed immunisation consent forms which were distributed at the start of the school year to parents of eligible students at Tamborine Mountain State High School, Tamborine Mountain College, Beaudesert State High School, McAuley college, Boonah State High School and The Kooralbyn International School.

"The free immunisation program, with a team of registered nurses providing clinics at our region's secondary schools, plays a vital role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of Scenic Rim communities," he said.

"I am a firm believer in the value of immunisation programs, having travelled widely in less developed countries and seeing some of the devastating impacts on children's health from diseases which could easily have been prevented by access to vaccines."

As recommended by the National Immunisation Program Schedule, all Year 7 students were offered two free doses of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and one free dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) vaccine.

In line with the schedule, all year 10 students would be offered one free dose of the Meningococcal vaccine against the A,C,W and Y strains of the disease.

"Meningococcal disease is rare, however it can cause death within 24 hours or profound and permanent disability - including brain damage and loss of limbs - in those who contract the disease and survive," Cr Christensen said.

"Many older members of our community will remember outbreaks of polio, in an era before immunisation was available, and the often crippling effects the disease had on survivors.

"It's also a sad fact that, despite the ready availability of free vaccines, there are still cases of babies who die after contracting whooping cough, and while rare, tetanus remains a potentially fatal infection."

The mayor said Scenic Rim's School Immunisation Program ran under an agreement between council and Queensland Health's Metro South Hospital and Health Service through the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

In 2019, Council's team provided 1970 immunisations to 1320 Scenic Rim secondary school students.

"School immunisation programs are regarded by both the Australian and state governments as the most effective and cost-efficient way of providing teenage immunisation services under the National Immunisation Program Schedule," Cr Christensen said.

"I urge everyone with eligible children in Years 7 and 10 to read the information carefully then complete, sign and return the immunisation consent form to their school and, if they have any concerns, to talk to their medical practitioner."

Details of Scenic Rim's secondary school immunisation program are available on council's website scenicrim.qld.gov.au/our-community/for-residents/school-immunisation-program