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Wednesday, 26 May 1993
Page: 1284

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

The humble petition of we, the undersigned citizens of Australia, respectfully showeth:

We wish to draw your attention to the urgent need for funding for the recently released Hib vaccine. Hib disease causes suffering, death and permanent disability in babies and young children.

The Hib vaccine is recommended by the NH&MRC for all babies and children from the ages of 2 months to 5 years. It is to be added to the routine immunization schedule and is the first significant addition since measles in 1968. All other routine vaccinations are free.

The Hib vaccine is presently only available to those who can afford to pay for it on a user pays basis. This will effectively result in many babies and children remaining at risk of contracting the Hib disease. This is a social justice issue.

We believe it is inappropriate to add this vaccine to the recommended schedule when it is unfunded or only partially funded.

We are asking that this vaccine be made accessible to all babies and children from 2 months to 5 years of age. Please fully fund this new Hib vaccine for all Australian children.

Your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.