No Jab No Pay raises catch-up vaccination rates

26 October 2020

The national ‘no jab, no pay’ policy has been associated with substantial catch-up vaccination activity in lower socioeconomic status areas, according to research published in the Medical Journal of Australia. 

Introduced on 1 January 2016, the “no jab, no pay” policy extended the existing vaccination requirements for receiving federal family assistance payments by expanding the immunisation assessment age from 5 to 19 years, removing non-medical (conscientious objection) exemptions and tightening guidelines for medical exemptions.

Findings suggest while monetary sanctions are effective in promoting catch-up vaccination, their impact varies with socio-economic disadvantage,concluded the authors, led by Dr Frank Beard.

Many factors contribute to incomplete vaccination; a comprehensive suite of measures, particularly for reducing barriers to access and incorporating systematic reminders, is therefore essential for improving coverage. Requirements alone are not enough, noted Professor Julie Leask.

The full report is available on the NCIRS website.

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