Diphtheria is a serious disease caused by the bacterium
Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The bacteria
produce toxins (poison), which cause throat and breathing
difficulties. The toxins can also cause nerve damage and
heart problems, which in a small number of cases may cause
Diphtheria is extremely rare in Australia because of the
widespread use of diphtheria vaccination. However, it is important
to continue vaccinating against diphtheria because the infection
can be brought in to the country by people who have travelled to,
or have come from, countries where diphtheria is still common.
As there is now little chance of gaining natural infection,
vaccination is important to keep up high levels of population
The content of this website is currently under review.
General vaccination recommendations listed on this site may not
fully reflect the most recent advice in the 10th Edition of the
Australian Immunisation Handbook, which was released in April 2013.
Please speak to your healthcare professional for individual