The claim that was investigated in this report was that vaccines should be compulsory in all school-aged children. This claim offers a widespread range of research to investigate but was too broad to address all vaccines. The research question was developed by deconstructing this claim into the key terms, starting with the age group that’s most effective. This differs for each vaccination, as some vaccines have a higher mortality rate. The Australian Bureau of Statistics identified that NSW has the highest mortality rate for ages 5 years and under (Abs.gov.au, 2019). This key term forms the research question by limiting the age group to 5 years and under as they are more susceptible to the disease. Influenza has been recorded to be one of highest reasons for death in NSW, this is another key term for making the flu vaccines compulsory for children under 5. By examining the aspect “compulsory” in the claim it helps broaden the data collected and identifies how the flu vaccines decreases influenza in children age 5 years and under. As a result, the report proposes the following research question:
Influenza is known to be one have one of the highest mortality rates in NSW. In 2017, NSW Government informs that there were 12,000 cases of influenza that was recorded in children under the age of 5 (Health.nsw.gov.au, 2019). Children 5 years and under are recommended to have 2 doses within 4 weeks apart, the vaccines can take up to 4 weeks to protect from Influenza. Having the vaccination at such a young age protects the child from being affected. In 2019, 36,906 cases were reported in NSW during the flu season, 79 deaths in the state of NSW, 24 of these deaths were children under 5 years (NewsComAu, 2019). By improving the rate of vaccines for influenza it would rule out those whom might just have a cold and improving the data to be more reliable. The Flu vaccine is the most reliable defence from spreading and catching influenza. The vaccine will prevent hospitalization, doctor visits and deaths. The primary cause of hospitalisation is Influenza in children under the age of five, 1500 children is reported each year in hospital for the flu (Paediatrics at Burnside, 2019). The Neurological disorder is a reason many children die through being related to the flu. The Ro value for the flu was between 1.4 and 1.6 in 2009. When the Ro value is more than 1, the disease is contagious and there is either an epidemic or an outbreak (Healthline, 2019). Additionally, Influenza can be a preventable illness but because of the change each year a vaccine is recommended each year regardless of health.
Influenza is one of the many leading deaths in children under 5 years, the mortality rate is more than 15% in NSW for young aged children (Health.nsw.gov.au, 2019).
NSW had the highest mortality rate in both 2016 and 2017. The climates in Australia effect influenza drastically, the flu season is active during winter and spring (July – October). During the prolonged flu season in both years, 2016 reached 183 deaths out of the 35,577 confirmed cases. From 2016 to 2017 the mortality rate increased by 2.7%, having an outbreak reaching to 494 deaths within 103,857 confirmed cases of Influenza. Both data sets show a line of trend of the most active time of the flu seasons, the highest point in during mid-September. A further comparison the flu season for both 2016 and 2017 dropped instantly during November.
The data set examines how many hospitalised cases and the age groups. As shown in the bar graph above the age group 1-4 has the highest amount of children hospitalised 30 being females and 23 males. Females 5 years and under have a high risk of obtaining Influenza. The hospitalised proportion per 1,000 notifications was 160.1 when decreasing to the 1-4 year old age group. Many children under 5 are not vaccinated for the flu even if 2 doses are recommended.
Many uncertainties and limitations are found in these data sets for Influenza. All three of my sources were reliable as all the data was collected from hospitals not from surveys or health agencies. A limitation of these data sets was recorded in 2013 and doesn’t show a reliable death bracket to compare to. The flu season changes every year and the mortality rate increases more and more each year. Being an unreliable source can contribute to how the data is collected in years to come.
The data collected doesn’t take into consideration the population change over the years and how the flu season differs because of the population decreasing. Without further research it is hard to support how the flu season in NSW affects the population rates. As a result, researching more would be a reasonable area to find out more.
The flu season is around the same time, it should be taken into account that climate change can have a drastically affect. In 2016 and 17 the climates had a forced change on Influenza. Both climate and the population rate changes the flu season every year and helps supports the reliability of the sources to prove how the flu season evolves.