CANBERRA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Australian public health experts have agreed the government's push to stop unvaccinated children from attending early years childcare would help raise the nation's vaccination rate.
Currently, 93 percent of Australian children are vaccinated, but the Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, wants to up that figure to 95 percent or more in coming years.
At the weekend, the Prime Minister wrote an open letter to all state and territory leaders, calling for a holistic, national approach to vaccines in Australia.
"At our next (coalition of Australian governments) meeting I propose we agree that all jurisdictions implement legislation that excludes children who are not vaccinated from attending childcare or preschool, unless they have a medical exemption," Turnbull's letter said.
"Vaccination objection is not a valid exemption."
Health experts across the nation have applauded the PM's strong approach to vaccinations, with president of the Australian Medical Association, Michael Gannon saying that parents had a responsibility to their own community as well as their own children.
"Firstly, the nature of very small children is that they are at much higher risk of catching infections because they haven't developed the basic skills of hygiene and safely coughing and sneezing," Gannon said in comments published in Monday's Fairfax newspapers.
"Secondly, it comes to that community responsibility on vaccinations.
"If you, as a parent, expect the community to support you by either welfare payments or access to care, then you need to do your bit to contribute to that community by protecting other children."
Meanwhile former head of the nation's Health Department, Dr. Stephen Duckett said a national adaptation of measures which some states already have in place would only be "a good thing".
"It has proved to be something that has widespread community acceptance," he told Fairfax Media.
The government has already brought in a "no jab, no pay" policy, which excludes families of unvaccinated children from receiving government rebates and welfare payments ordinarily available to new parents.
The government believes that an additional 200,000 children have been immunized under the "no jab, no pay" policy since 2016.