Immunisation protects people of all ages against serious and harmful infections. Immunisation uses the body’s defence mechanism to build resistance to specific infections.
When many people are vaccinated there is less opportunity for the spread of diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio. Even in our community today, when most people are immunised there is still the risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. We are working towards a vaccination rate of 95% of our population. This immunisation rate is recommended to help everyone stay healthy.
What is herd immunity?
Immunisation also plays a role in protecting individuals who are not immunised, through the concept of ‘herd immunity’. Immunisation coverage needs to exceed 90% in order to achieve and maintain the level of herd immunity needed to interrupt the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccinating on time
Vaccinating on time is important. The National Immunisation Program Schedule outlines the vaccines that your child needs and the age at which each vaccine should be given. Late vaccinations provide a window for possible infection and there are some vaccines, such as Rota Virus, must be given within a strict time frame, or cannot be given at all.
Visit the Victorian Immunisation Schedule
Making sure kids under two years old are vaccinated on time
Vaccination rates are currently under 90% for kids vaccinated at 12 and 18 months in our region, well under the target of 95% needed for the best level of community protection.
For the last three years vaccination rates for two-year-old children have been lower than for one-year and five-year vaccination rates, nationally and in our region.
Between 2016 and 2017:
- There were 28,484 two-year-old children in Australia who were not fully immunised on time.
- There were 2,354 two-year-old children in the north western Melbourne area who were not fully immunised on time.*
Get the FREE VaxOnTime app so you can:
- receive reminder notifications leading up to when your child is due for their vaccinations
- search for a local immunisation provider
- call and make an appointment for vaccinations or find out when immunisation sessions are being run by your local council
- add an appointment to your device’s calendar
VaxOnTime has been developed by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services to help remind parents and carers in Victoria when immunisation for their children is due. This free app is available on iOS, Android and Windows mobile phones. For more information visit the Better Health Channel.
Immunise Australia Program
- Understanding Childhood Immunisation
- Immunise Australia Program
- Publications & Resources
- Myths and Realities about vaccination
Australian Immunisation Register
For more information about immunisations, visit:
- Immunisation Coalition
- Childhood Immunisation (Better Health Channel)
- The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC)
- Immunisation References (MVEC)
- National Centre for Immunisation, Research and Surveillance
- AIHW Authoritative information and statistics to promote better health and wellbeing
- Health Direct – Pregnancy birth and baby- Immunisation