The form used says "Use this form to record a parent's personal, philosophical, religious or medical belief that immunisation should not occur. This form must be signed by a doctor or immunisation provider and sent to the Immunisation Register.
A conscientious objection is recorded on the ACIR so that a child can meet the immunisation requirements for family assistance payments when their parents do not want them to be immunised. A child with a conscientious objection recorded on the ACIR will still be considered not up to date for immunisation according to the requirements of the National Immunisation Program Schedule."
But in the last ten years the number of parents using that form to avoid the vaccinations but still receive money has reportedly doubled; while the majority of doctors in Australia there have been some objections.
There will still be the option to object and not be penalised but rules are being tightened.
"Parents who decide against immunisations could be up to $15,000 worse off per child. They would lose a childcare benefit of up to $205 a week, the childcare rebate of up to $7500 a year or the Family Tax Benefit A annual supplement of up to $726."
Presumably the changes will hit the poorest hardest and this could lead to an increase in childhood poverty. It also smacks of making children pay or suffer for the parent's beliefs.
Then there are those rich parents who will not care if they take a government financial hit or not. They will carry on regardless.
But however you look at it vaccination programs should be used and supported.
The trouble is children infected with just measles can cause havoc. The disease is highly contagious. In adults the disease is often worse and for pregnant women contact can be disastrous.
Remember Alan Barnes a frail pensioner in the UK who was attacked and made headlines around the world as donations to help him came flooding in? Mr Barnes has been disabled from birth after his mother contracted German measles when she was pregnant.
Then there are vulnerable people such as patients undergoing chemotherapy. The conclusion has to be that for now vaccination is the best way to protect children and the community at large.
Measles parties California