Measles Vaccination
A measles vaccine is seen at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

The Australian Senate approved and passed the “No Jab, No Pay” bill on the afternoon of Nov. 23. The intention of the bill is to boost the national immunisation rates and also provide stronger incentives for immunisation.

Under the new bill, which is scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2016, the parents will have to ensure that their child's immunisation is up-to-date to receive the benefits defined under the legislation. Some of these benefits include Family Tax Benefit Part A payment, Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

The Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter says that the passing of the bill is an important step towards better community health and would also ensure the safety of the children within the nation. Porter further says that immunisation is the best possible way to protect children from serious diseases like tetanus, diphtheria and polio.

The government has also asked Australian nationals to keep a record of their child's vaccination in the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. The latter keeps a record of the vaccinations provided to children aged 7 and below. The entries in the register will act as a proof of immunisation for school enrolment. In addition, the government will use the same register to countercheck whether the records of a particular applicant meet the requirement for family assistance payments.

The National Immunisation Program Schedule provides a detailed list of vaccinations that a child must receive at a specific age. Most of the vaccinations listed in the schedule are linked to the family assistance payments.

The country already has a number of free immunisation programs in place for specific adult risk groups, in addition to children. For example, people at a greater risk of complications due to seasonal flu can get a free influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.