The success of Australia’s ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy at a local level; retrospective clinical audit of a single medical practice assessing incidence of catch-up vaccinations

Publication Name

Health and Social Care in the Community


Vaccination is a vital health care initiative to prevent individual and population infection. To increase vaccination rates the federal government implemented the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy, where eligibility for several government benefits required children to be fully vaccinated by removing ‘conscientious objections’ and expanding the age range of children whose families receive benefits. This study assesses the impact of this policy at a local area within a single medical practice community in NSW, Australia. A retrospective clinical audit was performed between 2012 and 2017 on a single general practice's vaccination records for children ≤19 years. Catch-up vaccinations were assessed based on age at vaccination. Incidence of catch-up vaccinations was assessed for each of four years before and two years after the implementation of the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy in January 2016, along with the age of children and vaccination(s) given. Catch-up vaccinations were assessed temporally either side of implementation of ‘No Jab, No Pay’. Comparing the average annual vaccination catch-up incidence rate of 6.2% pre-implementation (2012–2015), there was an increase to 9.2% in 2016 (p <.001) and 7.8% in 2017 (p =.027). Secondary outcome measurement of catch-up vaccination incidence rates before (2012–2015) and after (2016–2017) ‘No Jab, No Pay’ implementation showed statistically significant increases for children aged 8–11 years (3.2%–5.6%, p =.038), 12–15 years (7.5%–14.7%, p <.001) and 16–19 years (3.3%–10.2%, p <.001) along with a statistically significant reduction in children aged 1–3 years (11.4%–6.2%, p =.015). Also, catch-up rates for DTPa significantly increased after program implementation. This study demonstrates that the Australian federal government vaccination policy ‘No Jab, No Pay’ was coincident with an increase in catch-up vaccinations within a rural NSW community served by one medical practice, especially for older children.

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