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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4598

Mr Reynolds asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   How many doses of rubella vaccine ha. been distributed by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories to the various States.

(2)   How many doses of the vaccine have been used' by the Commonwealth on school children in the Australian Capital Territory and the Nor.hera Territory.

(3)   In view of the serious nature of the rubella virus would the Minister give consideration to having vaccinations made available as pharmaceutical benefit.

(4)   In view of the cyclical nature of the disease, is it anticipated that an epidemic will hit Australia in 1972 or 1973.

(5)   What number of rubella cases have been recorded in Australia in (a) 1970 and (b) 1971.

Dr Forbes - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Rubella vaccine - Issues to Stales to 31*1 October 1971:

(2)   School-children immunised to 31st October 1971:


(3)   Under Section 9b of the National Health Act, Rubella vaccine is provided at Commonwealth expense for immunisation programmes by Slate and local authorities. With its general availability to the public through these programmes, it has not been found necessary to list Rubella vaccine as a pharmaceutical benefit under Part VH of the National Health Ac:.

(4)   From the evidence available to my Department, it is not expected that an epidemic of Rubella will occur in Australia in 1972 or 1973.

(5)   1970-1,134 cases 1971 (to 13th Nov.)- 513 cases* (a subject to final confirmation by individual States)

Note: In New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania, Rubella cases are not required by Jaw to be notified to health authorities.

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