Australian vaccination rates 'too low to stop disease'

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Nearly 10 per cent of Australian children are not fully vaccinated, leaving communities potentially vulnerable to disease, a federal government report shows.

In the third national report on immunisation rates, the best and worst areas have been put under the microscope with the report finding nearly 85,000 children were not fully vaccinated in 2014/15.

Indigenous and Torres Strait islanders rates had showed increases but remained below the national figure, with close to 11 per cent not fully vaccinated.

Sydney University Medical School Associate Professor Julie Leask said the most important number to focus on was the one-year-old rates of vaccination when children received the most vital jabs.

Northern NSW recorded the lowest immunisation rates in that age group with nearly a quarter not fully vaccinated.

"Over the last 15 years Australia has had pretty steady vaccination rates ... in this report we are seeing some more increases in the 12-month-old and five-year-old (children), which is very encouraging news," Prof Leask told AAP.

But she said most concerning was that very few areas had met the target of 95 per cent vaccination deemed necessary to stop the spread of disease.

In 2013/14, nearly 30,000 children aged one were not fully immunised, with that figure falling to 26,671 in 2014/15, the data released on Thursday revealed.

Prof Leask said that although the data would not yet reflect the No Jab No Pay policy, there had been reports of services being inundated with requests for catch-up vaccinations since the policy's announcement.

She said there had been a lot of focus on clamping down on conscientious objectors, but it was often physical practicalities that stopped vaccinations, such as access to clinics, parents getting time off work and simply forgetting.

"Australia needs to have a much better way of understanding this 9.1 per cent and why they are under vaccinated ... we just don't survey it any consistent way," she said.

NSW was a state of contrasts, with regions recording both the lowest rate of one-year-old vaccinations at 73 per cent near Brunswick Heads and the highest local area rate of 97 per cent in the Snowy Mountains. 

Find out your area's vaccination rate on the My Healthy Communities website