30 June 2009

Member for Ballina, Don Page and Member for Lismore, Thomas George have engaged in a campaign to increase people’s awareness of the current whooping cough epidemic and the importance of being immunised.

Mr Page and Mr George are encouraging all parents to vaccinate their children (after two months of age) and adults to get a booster.

Mr Page recently raised this issue in the NSW Parliament highlighting the whooping cough epidemic on the north coast of NSW.

This follows the tragic death of Dana McCaffery, at four weeks of age from Pertussis (Whooping Cough).

Mr Page said until Dana McCaffery’s death hardly anyone knew about the epidemic.

“More than 7,200 cases of whooping cough have been reported in New South Wales in 2009, and we are only halfway through the year. Children and teenagers from newborns up to 19 years of age are the most vulnerable”.

“The Northern Rivers has one of the lowest vaccination rates in NSW and the Department of Health should make adults aware that the whooping cough vaccinations they received as children, will wane after 10 to 12 years.

“In 2008 on the North Coast 37 people with whooping cough were admitted to hospital including 17 babies aged less than 12 months”.

“I believe it is important that we as a community ensure we are vaccinated against preventable diseases such as Whooping Cough”, Mr Page said.

"Dana McCaffery’s death, who as a tiny baby caught whooping cough from someone else, should make people more aware of the dangers of whooping cough, especially to young children who can’t be immunised until they are 2 months old” Mr George said.

“Both Don Page and I are keen to increase public awareness of the need to be immunised against whooping cough so that we can reduce the number of preventable deaths.” Mr George said.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.