for parents and carers

Immunisation is a safe, simple and effective way of protecting you and your children against harmful infections that are present in the community.

Immunisation is a safe, simple and effective way of protecting children (and adults) against harmful infections before they come into contact with them in the community. It also protects the broader community and people who are too young or too sick to be immunised by minimising the spread of diseases from person to person.

Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to specific infections. Vaccines are given as an injection or, in the case of rotavirus vaccine, taken by mouth. After receiving a vaccination, the immune system generates specialised cells to fight the infection if they are exposed to the disease. If a vaccinated person comes in contact with these diseases, their immune system is able to respond more effectively, preventing the disease from developing or greatly reducing its severity.

Immunisation helps children stay healthy by preventing serious infections. The risk of serious side effects from immunisation is very low compared to the risk of complications or death should a child contract one of the vaccine-preventable diseases.

Free vaccine program

The vaccines provided free of charge on the National Immunisation Program have been chosen specifically to provide your child with the safest and most effective protection against these vaccine-preventable diseases at the most appropriate age. It is very important to have your child immunised on time at the correct age with the recommended vaccines on the National Immunisation Program schedule because delaying your child’s immunisation can place them at increased risk of catching vaccine preventable disease.