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Vaccinations are usually recommended at specified ages. A significant delay could mean that your baby may be at risk of some serious infections.

baby vaccinations

Vaccination is an effective way of protecting your baby against some serious diseases. The immune system in babies and young children is not fully developed, unlike older children and adults. Once babies are vaccinated, their bodies are better able to fight those diseases if they come into contact with them.

To get appropriate protection, it is recommended that your baby receive the scheduled doses for each of the vaccine-preventable diseases. All vaccines that are routinely recommended by the Australian Government are funded under the National Immunisation Program. Speak to your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns or questions about vaccinating your baby.

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Some babies require vaccinations and schedules tailored to their specific needs. This information is based on the National Immunisation Program schedule. Program details may vary between states and may be different for high-risk groups. The use of combination and oral vaccines minimises the number of needles your baby will receive at any one visit. Always discuss the benefits and risks of vaccinations with a healthcare professional. Please confirm with a healthcare professional if this information applies to you.

recommended vaccinations

At this age, the Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides vaccines for the following diseases.

To learn more about a specific disease, click on an item below.

*These vaccination recommendations apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

^Seasonal Flu vaccination is not funded for all age groups, however, it is recommended that children from the age of 6 months be vaccinated.

frequently asked questions

Why does my baby need so many different vaccinations?

There a number of reasons why many different vaccinations are recommended for babies to protect them from serious diseases - the protective antibodies you transfer to your baby during pregnancy wear off in the first few months after birth, leaving your baby susceptible to infection. Also, babies and young children have immature immune systems compared with older children and adults, so they need specific vaccines to be protected against each disease.

What are the common side-effects of vaccination?

Some side effects are a sore arm, fever, and pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. A range of other and more serious side effects may be experienced by individuals and may vary depending on the vaccine given. If your baby experiences any side-effects, regardless of how minor the symptoms are, make sure you report them to your doctor.

It is worth remembering that the diseases prevented by vaccination can be very severe. If you have any concerns about the side-effects of vaccines, speak to your doctor before your baby is vaccinated.

Do breast-fed babies need vaccinations?

Breast milk contains small amounts of antibodies, but these antibodies do not produce sufficient or long-term protection against all infections. A baby should receive all the relevant vaccines that are currently scheduled on the National Immunisation Program regardless of whether they are breastfed or not.

What if my baby's next vaccination dose is delayed?

Funded vaccines are usually for specified age groups.  To get appropriate protection, your baby needs to receive all the recommended doses, preferably on time. If there has been, or you expect a delay between doses, please speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Do vaccines weaken or overwhelm the immune system?

Your baby's immune system is designed to respond to multiple challenges - it is exposed to many foreign antigens (substances not found naturally in the body) on a daily basis through activities such as eating, drinking and playing. Vaccines, on the other hand, only contain a small number of substances. So vaccines, even when multiple injections are given at the same time, do not overwhelm or 'use up' the immune system. In fact, vaccines do not weaken it at all; instead, they strengthen the immune system by inducing protection against specific diseases.