Several immunisations are required in the first few years of a child’s life to protect them against the most serious infections of childhood. The immune system in young children does not work as well as the immune system in older children and adults, because it is still immature. Therefore, more doses of vaccine are often needed.
Another reason why children get many immunisations is that new vaccines against serious infections continue to be developed. However, the number of injections is also being reduced using combination vaccines, where several vaccines are combined into one injection.
Children need immunisations to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases that can have serious complications including death.
Immunisation is the best way to protect your child from these serious diseases. By immunising you are protecting your child as well as the broader community. The more people that immunise their children, the more we can control serious vaccine preventable diseases. High rates of immunisation produce ‘Herd Immunity” within the community, which keeps safe our most vulnerable community members, like babies and the very ill.
Children under 5 are especially susceptible to disease because their immune systems have not built up the necessary defences to fight infection. By fully immunising on time, you can protect your child from disease and also protect other children at school or day-care.
High rate of immunisation helps to maintain herd immunity, especially for those who are too young to be immunised or those that are not able to be immunised for medical reasons.
If your child has a serious illness or medical condition, talk to your GP or nurse. They can help to determine which vaccines your child can and cannot get and how to best protect your child’s health.
The immunisation history statement helps you and your doctor keep your child’s vaccinations on schedule. If you move or change doctors, having an accurate record might prevent your child from repeating vaccinations he or she has already had.
An immunisation record starts when your child receives his/her first vaccination and is updated with each vaccination visit. You can keep track of your child immunisation statement by requesting an Australian Immunisation Record (AIR) Statement in the following ways:
Immunisation History Statements are necessary for child care and school enrolment, employment at certain workplaces and are currently used by Medicare and Centrelink to determine eligibility for some family assistance payments.