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did you know?

An increase in the number of vaccinated children decreases the chance of a disease, eg 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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Some children 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. 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 child need booster doses of some vaccines?

Vaccinations don't always give life-long protection. Some vaccines need to be presented to a child's immune system on multiple occasions in order for an adequate immune response to occur - that's why a 'course' of vaccines might be given (e.g. the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is given in two doses; each dose given at a different age).

Even after a full course is completed, some vaccinations, such as whooping cough vaccine, give protection for a limited time. Subsequent 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 (e.g. tetanus vaccines).

So it's important for your child to receive all the recommended doses - talk to your doctor or nurse for advice on staying current 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. If people are not vaccinated - they are more likely to catch the disease and potentially experience complications. Although the unvaccinated 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 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 child 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 child is vaccinated.

Are vaccinations necessary in this modern age?

If enough people in the community are not vaccinated, significant illness (and even death) can occur when a serious disease spreads- despite excellent hospital care and living standards. For example, before the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine in Australia in 1993, there was a greater number of Hib cases reported in children under the age of 5 -502 cases in 1992, compared to approximately 15 cases in 2005.

Also, some of the diseases Australian children are vaccinated against are still common in other areas of the world, and therefore travelling to these areas can potentially pose a risk to an unvaccinated child/individual.

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