In Brunswick North West Primary, a primary school in Australia known as a haven for “vaccine dodgers,” 80 students out of the 320 enrolled now have come down with chicken pox. That means a full 25% of their student body are out sick.
“There are no firm figures on the number of students who have contracted the illness since then, but we’ve been advised that over the period there has been an absentee rate of about 25 per cent on any given day,” a spokesman for the Department of Health said. They were first notified of the epidemic on November 26.
Dr. Jim Buttery, the head of infection and immunity at Monash Children’s Hospital, said that even kids who are vaccinated can get chickenpox, and for herd immunity to happen, about 90% of kids need to be vaccinated. However, vaccinations still help kids who are infected with chickenpox. Those children only get about 25 spots. Without a vaccination, children can get up to 800 spots.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the average vaccination rate in the school’s local postcode is 92%, and within the state of Victoria the average is 90.4%. However, at the school in question, a mere 73.2% of students are vaccinated. No doubt this has contributed to the incredibly high rates of chickenpox at the school.
Australia just passed a “No Jab, No Play” law that goes into effect January 1, which dictates that unvaccinated children will not be allowed in pre-schools. However, this law doesn’t apply to primary and high schools. The schools need to be notified of the vaccination status, but they are not allowed to turn children away.
Vaccination rates in Victoria have hovered around 90% for years, something Health Minister Jill Hennessy wants to change. She doesn’t mince words on the subject.
“Get your advice from a doctor, not from some quack who’s opposed to vaccination based on dodgy science,” Hennessy said.
Can’t argue with that.