Immunisation Facts

Vaccines will help you stay healthy. Receiving vaccinations throughout your life provides protect against many preventable infections. When you skip vaccines, you leave yourself exposed to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, influenza, whooping cough and other diseases that can be prevented.

If you don’t see the disease, it doesn’t mean it has gone away

Some people assume that many vaccine-preventable diseases do not exist anymore because they don’t see them very often, and they decide not to immunise their children based on this. The truth is, even if you don’t see the disease around, it doesn’t mean it has gone away.

In 2015, the Australian the national Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System reported that 60,782 people got sick from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Viruses and bacteria that cause sickness and death still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines.

We live in a time where people can travel all around the world every day, and it's easy for these diseases to travel too.

Vaccines will help you stay healthy just like a healthy diet and regular exercise

Like eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the most effective and safest preventive care procedures available.

Vaccination can save your life and the life of your loved ones

Vaccine-preventable infections are dangerous. Immunisation helped save the lives of tens of thousands of Australian children in the 20th Century.

Rotavirus vaccine has reduced hospital admissions and deaths from infant diarrhea, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus. Immunisation also protects adults from liver and cervical cancer and influenza vaccine prevents infections in travellers or people who are medically at risk.

Vaccines are safe

Safety research and testing reinforce every aspect of vaccine development and manufacture in Australia. Before vaccines are made available for use, they are rigorously tested in progressively larger clinical trials that are strictly monitored for safety. The results of these trials form the foundation for an ongoing process of testing and monitoring that lasts for the lifetime of each vaccine.

All vaccines registered in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are evaluated to ensure they are effective, comply with strict manufacturing and production standards, and have a strong safety record. This includes stringent testing for each vaccine component, including preservatives, additives and vaccine adjuvants. It can take up to 10 years for a vaccine to be approved for use. Vaccines are among the safest products in all of medicine.

Vaccines won’t make you ill or give you the disease they are meant to prevent

You cannot “catch” the disease from the vaccine. Some vaccines contain “killed” virus, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have live, but weakened, viruses designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.

Being young and healthy, doesn’t mean you are not at risk

Although Infants and elderly people are at a greater risk of infections and complications, vaccine-preventable diseases can attack anyone even young and healthy people, getting vaccinated is important to help you stay healthy.

When you get sick, your children, grandchildren and parents can get sick too

A vaccine-preventable disease that might make you sick for a week or two can be deadly for your children, grandchildren, or parents if it spreads to them. When you get vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself, your family and your community. For example, adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants, which can be fatal for them.

How does immunisation work?

Vaccines significantly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural immune system to safely develop immunity to disease. All vaccines work in the same way. When you are swallow or are injected with a vaccine, your body produces an immune response in the same way it would following exposure to a disease but without you getting sick from the disease. If you are exposed to the disease in the future, your body will be able to make a response fast enough to prevent you from getting sick, the antibodies will recognise the disease and fight it off. Sometimes, vaccines can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are usually normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

Vaccines work because of this function of the immune system. They’re made from a killed, weakened, or partial version of disease. It isn’t strong or plentiful enough to make you sick, but it’s enough for your immune system to produce antibodies against it.

Download the factsheets here:
http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/fact-sheets-concerns-vaccination