Young girl being vaccinated

To protect our children from vaccine preventable diseases

There are 14 diseases on the current immunisation schedule that our National Immunisation Program aims to protect our children against. Some of these diseases are more severe and more of a threat to our children than others. This is because vaccination has rendered some diseases very uncommon, such as polio, diphtheria, or haemophilus influenzae type b and because some have more severe consequences, or risk of death, such as meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease or whooping cough in young children.

To protect others in our community form getting vaccine preventable diseases, especially the most vulnerable

Protection against vaccine preventable diseases relies on rings of protection within our community, starting with our families, and then extending out to our communities and cities. Vaccination ensures that there is a low level of disease that occurs in our community, which in turn protects the most vulnerable people in our community who are unable to be vaccinated. This includes very young infants, people whose immune systems are compromised, and the elderly. In the case of whooping cough, vaccination of children and adults, especially pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy, ensures that children who have not yet been able to receive the full number of doses, such as infants less than six months of age, are more protected. This year an additional dose of whooping cough vaccine has been added for children at 18 months to boost their immunity after their six-month dose, before they receive their pre-school booster.

To maintain our healthy lifestyle in Australia and focus on our children’s well-being

By ensuring that there are low levels of these diseases in our communities, we can enjoy a healthy lifestyle and focus on our children’s development, education and well-being. We can also ensure that money spent on treating these diseases can be used to support other areas of our children’s lives so that they can enjoy a healthier future.

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