Whanganui vaccination rates below that national average, DHB concerned
Whanganui District Health Board says “anti-vaxx propaganda” is behind some infants not being immunised and it is putting children’s health at risk.
It comes on the back of a report by the Ministry of Health which shows Whanganui’s immunisation rates, although slightly up on four years ago, still sit below a declining national average.
WDHB has been ranked seventh of New Zealand’s 20 DHBs in vaccination rates with just 72.4 per cent of six-month-old babies vaccinated in Whanganui, compared with the national average of 77 per cent as of March 2019.
But that is an increase of 1.6 per cent against a national average decline of 4.5 per cent since rates peaked in December 2015.
Despite the slight overall increase in Whanganui’s immunisation rates for 6-month-old babies, there has been marked decrease among babies living in the least deprived areas (deprivation levels 1-2).
The largest drop was that of babies living in deprivation level 1-2 which stood at 77.8 per cent in December 2015 and dropped to 65 per cent in March 2019.