From 01 January next year, parents and guardians in South Australia will be required to provide their child’s vaccination history record to a childcare, kindergarten, or pre-school service, and the Chief Public Health Officer will have the power to request those records. The law will apply to both new and existing enrolments.
In the event of an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease at one of these services, the Chief Public Health Officer will also have the power to exclude unvaccinated children from the service.
This follows amendments to the South Australian Public Health Act earlier this year.
This new requirement is a documentation requirement, not a vaccination requirement, meaning that parents or guardians must provide a vaccination history statement showing which, if any, vaccines, their child has received. The child is not required to be vaccinated.
Every child that is registered with Medicare will have a vaccination history statement, whether or not the child has received any vaccines.
You can download your child’s vaccination history statement from MyGov, which can then be provided to your child’s service.
The parent or guardian of a child that is enrolled or attends an early childhood service must provide vaccination records to the provider of the early childhood service as follows:
a) at the time of the child’s enrolment for the provision of the service;
b) after the child turns 7 months of age but before the child turns 9 months of age;
c) after the child turns 13 months of age but before the child turns 15 months of age;
d) after the child turns 19 months of age but before the child turns 21 months of age;
e) after the child turns 4 years and 2 months of age but before the child turns 4 years and 8 months of age
Source: South Australian Government Gazette dated 24 October 2019 (page 3570)
The South Australian law has no effect on eligibility for childcare subsidies. However, under the federal No Jab, No Pay law, parents of unvaccinated, or partially unvaccinated children, whose children do not have a permitted exemption to the vaccination requirement under that law, will not be entitled to Childcare Subsidy. In other words, just because your child may qualify for enrolment or attendance under the South Australian law, does not necessarily mean you will qualify for subsidies under the federal law.
To determine if you qualify for an exemption, for the purpose of eligibility to Childcare Subsidy, see our guide to permitted exemptions under No Jab No Pay.
The title of Health Minister, Stephen Wade’s media release is misleading because it implies that No Jab, No Play is commencing next year, wording which has been eagerly adopted by a number of news outlets, including for example 9 News Adelaide.
For this reason, if you see comments on social media to the effect that children are required to be vaccinated in South Australia, please share this article with them.
Earlier this year, SA Health conducted a public consultation into No Jab, No Jab Play legislation, but to date, has not published the results.