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An increase in the number of vaccinated children decreases the chance of a disease, such as measles, spreading to other people in the community.

Child vaccinations

By the age of 3 years, your child has most likely received the primary course of vaccinations recommended on the National Immunisation Program (speak to your doctor if you're unsure whether your child has had these vaccinations).

Around the age of 4 years, it is recommended that children receive booster doses of certain vaccinations. When a booster dose is received, your child's immunity against the disease is increased, helping to ensure that your child remains protected against serious diseases. Speak to your doctor to find out if booster doses are recommended for your child.

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The recommended vaccinations listed below are based on the Australian National Immunisation Program. For further information please speak to you healthcare professional.

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 a disease below.

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

^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 child need booster doses of some vaccines?

Some vaccines provide long term immunity, whilst others require booster doses. Even after a full course is completed, immunity to some diseases, such as whooping cough, decrease over time. Therefore booster doses are recommended to maintain immunity. Other vaccines may provide immunity for longer periods, and therefore, a booster may not be needed until adulthood.

It's important for your child to receive all the recommended doses - talk to your doctor or nurse for advice on being up to date with your child's vaccinations.

Can my child still get the disease despite being vaccinated?

Like all medicines, vaccines are not 100% effective. A small proportion of people, including babies and children may still get the disease even though they are vaccinated. However, they are likely to have less severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Although unvaccinated people are more likely to get a disease, the chances of being exposed are reduced when most people in a community are vaccinated.

What are the common side-effects of vaccination?

Some side effects may be experienced after vaccination. Most side effects are mild, short-lived and clear within a few days. Common side effects can include a sore arm, fever, and pain and redness at the injection site. Severe side effects are rare. If they do occur you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

It is worth remembering that vaccines help to protect against diseases that can be very serious and potentially fatal. If you have any concerns about the side-effects of vaccines, speak to your doctor. 

Why vaccinate for diseases that aren’t around anymore?

Vaccines are given for serious, potentially fatal diseases that were common in Australia before vaccination was available. The microbes that cause these diseases are still around – however due to high rates of vaccination in the community, most of these diseases have become rare. It is important to continue to vaccinate in order to prevent disease coming back. Also, people returning from countries where vaccine-preventable diseases are still common can bring back diseases, such as measles.

Are there any reasons for delaying vaccinations?

There are medical reasons for delaying vaccination, such as a child with a high temperature (over 38.5ºC) or someone who has a weakened immune system (e.g. receiving chemotherapy). Other medical conditions may also need to be considered. Speak to your doctor about your child's circumstances before postponing vaccination. You can also complete a pre-vaccination checklist to help your doctor decide about immunising your child.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

 

AUS/VAC/0052/15. Date of approval: April 2015.