Updated on 21 April 2015
More than 7,000 Australians have signed a petition in opposition to the reforms
Singapore: Australian government has recently made an announcement that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children may lose up to AUD$11,000 worth welfare benefits a year. The new policy called ‘No jab, no pay' will come to effect from January 2016, said the country's Prime Minister, Mr Tony Abbott.
"The choice made by families not to immunize their children is not supported by public policy or medical research nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of child care payments," said Mr Abbott in a joint statement with Social Services minister, Mr Scott Morrison.
As per the Australian government estimates nearly 39,000 children under the age of seven have not been vaccinated because of their parents' objections and the number of children who have not received vaccination against measles has doubled in the past decade.
Anti-vaccination campaigns have recently gained traction in Western countries. Some parents believe the shots cause autism, but the theory has been widely discredited. More than 7,000 Australians have signed a petition in opposition to the reforms.