Correspondent: Sonĵ Hall
In October 2018, the World Health Organization declared that Australia has eliminated rubella, an infectious disease that can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or lifelong complications for babies. Australia operates a free, national vaccination program for all babies and children, at a cost of AUD 420 million (USD 300 million) a year. This investment, combined with state regulations that require school-age children to be vaccinated, has resulted in nearly 95 percent of five-year-olds having been vaccinated against Rubella and a range of other contagious diseases. This month also saw the release of SmartVax, the Australian government’s real-time surveillance program for tracking adverse reactions to all vaccinations. In 2014, Australia eliminated measles, another childhood disease.