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Rubella eliminated from Australia: WHO confirms


Morgan Liotta


2/11/2018 8:59:14 AM

Rubella has officially been eliminated in Australia, sending ‘a powerful message that vaccinations work’.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the elimination of rubella is ‘testimony to the success’ of Australia’s National Immunisation Program. (Image: Stefan Postles)
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the elimination of rubella is ‘testimony to the success’ of Australia’s National Immunisation Program. (Image: Stefan Postles)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified that Australia has eliminated rubella, signifying a significant accomplishment for the nation’s health and verifying the efficacy of vaccinations.
 
‘The elimination of rubella is a highly significant public health accomplishment for Australia and sends a powerful message that vaccinations work,’ Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced.
 
The National Immunisation Program (NIP) played a key role in helping to eliminate rubella. The current nationwide vaccination rates for five-year-olds are the highest on record at 94.62%. The NIP provides free vaccination against rubella for children aged 12 months, and a booster at 18 months.
 
Rubella is a contagious viral illness that can result in miscarriage or stillbirth and, according to the WHO, Australia has had ‘rolling epidemics’ of rubella ­– with over 5000 notified cases reported in 1958, over 3000 in 1963–64 and more than 4000 in the early 1990s.
 
Minister Hunt has backed the importance of vaccinations, saying that they ‘save and protect lives and are an essential part of a healthy society’.
 
‘Australia has high-performing surveillance systems to rapidly detect and respond to rubella cases and [the] confirmation this disease has been eliminated is testimony to the success of our NIP,’ he said.



National Immunisation Program rubella vaccinations World Health Organization





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