Why immunise?

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.*

On 1 July 2018 The National Immunisation Program updated the type of vaccinations for 12 and 18 month old children. See the Better Health Channel Fact Sheet, Better Health Channel Poster

*Source: Australian Institute of Health and Wellfare (AIHW): My Healthy Communities


Maternal and Child Health app

Download the Maternal and Child Health app to access child health and development information – including immunisation information – matched to the age of your child at your fingertips! You will also be able to chart your baby’s growth with the interactive growth tracker.

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