Govt’s vax plans could backfire: expert

Currently, vaccine refusers must visit their GP and discuss their concerns in order to be eligible for a “conscientious objection” exemption.

But the University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Julie Leask, who has researched vaccination uptake for almost two decades, told Medical Observer scrapping the exemption would remove this opportunity.

Professor Leask said the fundamental way to boost uptake was “trust”, with family doctors the biggest influence on uptake.

She said there would always be some people in society that refuse some or all vaccines, and that the job of government was to keep that number as small as possible to maintain herd immunity.

Rather than remove the 'conscientious objection' clause the government should rely on evidence-based strategies like a national reminder system, a whole-of-life vaccine register, and beefed-up primary care.

Professor Leask also queried the