No jab, no pay to start today

CHANGES to immunisation legislation take effect today, with parents required to keep their children's immunisations up to date in order to receive some government payments.

Exemptions still apply for children with a natural immunity or allergies to specific medicines, provided it is diagnosed by a general practitioner.

Dr James Ware from the Condamine Medical Centre said there was no doubt that immunisations save lives.

"Why would you choose between having a deadly disease or a couple of needles?" he said.

"There are people in third world countries who would love to have access to these kinds of medicines.

"I think it's easy to forget just how deadly these diseases are."

Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said it was important for the government to take steps to increase immunisation rates.

"It remains the case that parents still have the right not to vaccinate their child," Mr Porter said.

However, the no jab, no pay policy recognises the fact that rationales for a family's choice not to immunise their children are not supported by public policy or medical research.

"The benefits for the broader community from high rates of immunisation are too important for the government not to take this action designed to maintain and improve rates of immunisation coverage."