Immunisation not only protects your child from a range of harmful diseases, but offers vital benefits for the long-term health of the community.
When you vaccinate your child against the infectious diseases on the National Immunisation Program Schedule, you’ll help to reduce the chance of them contracting these vaccine preventable diseases, many of which spread quickly and easily through the air.
You’ll also be helping to reduce the presence of infectious symptoms in the wider population – contributing to a ‘community immunity’ that over time dramatically reduces the chances of a disease outbreak.
The National Immunisation Program Schedule currently lists 16 infectious diseases for which free vaccination is available, and the ages at which doses should be administered to children and teenagers.
The children page lists details of the routine immunisations for 13 diseases available under the National Immunisation Program for children between birth and four years of age. The School Programs page provides details of “booster” doses and HPV vaccinations delivered to school-aged children between the ages of 10 and 15 years.
Your questions answered
As a new parent, you’ll naturally have a lot of questions that you want answered about immunisation.
The Immunise Australia website has a wealth of information specifically designed for parents and guardians, from the basic facts of immunisation, Frequently Asked Questions and fact sheets on common concerns to detailed clinical information about vaccine preventable diseases. There is also a section on the site about vaccine safety, which outlines the lengthy processes of testing and monitoring to which all Australian vaccines are subjected. The Department of Health has produced a YouTube video, Protecting Your Child: Understanding Childhood Immunisation, which addresses community asked questions.
The website also provides information about the Government benefits linked to the immunisation status of children. As well as children who are up to date with their vaccinations, benefits are available for children who cannot receive specific vaccines on medical grounds.
The Department of Health has produced a detailed booklet called understanding childhood immunisation, which provides clear and accessible information on childhood vaccinations, vaccine preventable diseases, potential side effects, and eligibility for vaccination. This booklet and National Immunisation Program Schedule magnet can be ordered online or download from the National Immunisation Program Schedule page.