Immunisation rates in Melton are at the highest in history, according to latest figures.

Data released last week from the Australian Immunisation Register showed most children are now protected against vaccine-preventable diseases with the local area hitting the ‘herd immunity’ target of 95 per cent.

It also revealed that 96.1 per cent of five-year-olds in the municipality are now fully immunised.

Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said that since the introduction of the state government’s stringent No Jab No Play laws, there has been a consistent increase in immunisation rates for children.

From last week, only history statements from the Australian immunisation register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation or medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling a child in childcare or kindergarten.

The laws aim to reduce the risk of potentially false vaccination exemptions being written up and simplify enrolment for early childhood centres.

The statewide immunisation rate of 95.3 per cent is the third highest rate in Australia behind Tasmania and the ACT and is up two per cent since 2016.

The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.

Health minister Jill Hennessy said vaccination ensured the whole community was protected.

“We know the more people who are vaccinated – the greater the protection for everyone,” Ms Hennessy said.

“There is no debate. Immunisation is safe, effective and saves lives.

“Victorian parents are listening to science. And that’s great news.

“High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.”