May 14, 2004

Protecting the babies of Grayndler against life-threatening disease

Protecting the babies of Grayndler against life-threatening disease

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 14 May 2004

Every newborn baby in Grayndler will be vaccinated against the deadly disease, pneumococcal as well as chicken pox and polio as part of Labor’s national vaccination program.

Anthony Albanese, Labor Member for Grayndler said every year around 1800 cases of pneumococcal disease were reported in Australian children and 50 children die. Many more suffer brain, blood and spinal injuries and diseases.

“Under Labor’s plan every newborn baby in Grayndler will be vaccinated against deadly pneumococcal disease and chicken pox and their protection against polio will be boosted.

“Our plan will save parents the $500 they currently pay for the pneumococcal vaccine as well as the costs of the chicken pox and new injected polio vaccines,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Howard Government has blatantly rejected the advice of it’s own advisory group, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and the National Health and Medical Research Council and refuses to fund these life-saving vaccines.

“But Labor understands the peace of mind this vaccination program will give thousands of new parents, protecting their babies from preventable diseases. Once again we are leading the way in the protection of children and assistance for families.”

Mr Albanese said the program to fund the new vaccines for all newborn children would cost $304 million over four years. It is fully costed and funded by re-directing funds from the Howard Government’s flawed ‘Medicare Plus’ deal.

This money was previously allocated to fund Labor’s Baby Care Payment but the Governments Budget announcement to fund a baby care payment now releases these funds,” Mr Albanese concluded.