Doctor Dad joins Medical Mums immunisation campaign

Trust is essential when persuading vaccine-hesitant parents and, recognising that fathers also make decisions about immunising their children, Brisbane North PHN’s annual childhood immunisation campaign now includes a male role model.

Dr Stuart McAuley is a General Practitioner (GP) practising in Lawnton, a father of two young girls and a strong advocate for childhood immunisation.

In a series of videos released to coincide with World Immunisation Week (24-30 April 2017), Dr McAuley explains that the PHN’s Medical Mums campaign aims to counter misinformation about vaccination.

“We live in a world where there’s information overload and the problem is there’s no filters to this information,” Dr McAuley said.

“And I think, when making a decision like whether you don’t vaccinate your child, you need to speak to somebody who is educated and knows what they’re talking about,” he said.

A 2012 study published in the journal BMC Pediatrics found that up to 27 per cent of parents only partially vaccinate their children due to worries they have about the safety, necessity or number of childhood vaccines. 1

The study found health professionals have a central role in maintaining public trust in vaccination, including addressing parents’ concerns. 
The Medical Mums campaign is targeted toward parents in North Brisbane and the Moreton Bay region and features local GPs and other health professionals talking about why they immunise their own children.

Medical Mums campaign messages will run during April and May in local newspapers and The Koori Mail, while digital advertising will run on Facebook and selected websites. 

Campaign videos will feature in the digital advertising and will screen in GP waiting rooms. The videos and other resources are also available via the Medical Mums website: medicalmums.com.au

FAST FACTS

•    In late 2014, the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and all state and territory chief health officers agreed to a 95% aspirational national immunisation target. 

•    This target was based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the Communicable Disease Network of Australia and the National Immunisation Committee.

•    According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s My Healthy Communities website, 
in 2014-15:
o    92.6% of 1-year-old children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 91.3% nationally.
o    90.3% of 1-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 87.7% nationally.
o    91.4% of 2-year-old children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 89.2% nationally.
o    89.5% of 2-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 86.7% nationally.
o    93% of 5-year-old children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 92.2% nationally.
o    93.6% of 5-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Brisbane North PHN region were fully immunised, compared to 93.5% nationally.

1.    Leask J, Kinnersley P, Jackson C, Cheater F, Bedford H and Rowles G: Communicating with parents about vaccination: a framework for health professionals. BMC Pediatrics. 2012, 12:154. 
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2431-12-154