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Immunisation


What is immunisation?

Immunisation is one of the best ways to stop the spread of harmful infections. Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism - the immune response - to build resistance to specific diseases. When a person is vaccinated, their body produces an immune response in the same way their body would after exposure to a disease, but without the symptoms. When a person comes in contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will respond fast enough to prevent the person developing the disease.

Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of giving protection against infectious disease. If enough people in the community are immunised, the risk of specific diseases can fall so low that those who are too young or too sick for the vaccine will be protected. Modern vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness. Occasionally vaccines may have side effects, however the majority are mild and quickly resolved.

Measles
The measles virus is very contagious and can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis. If you were born after 1966 and you or your child have not been immunised with two documented doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, you are eligible to receive a free dose.

Whooping cough
Parents and family members should keep their whooping cough vaccinations up-to-date, to avoid placing newborn babies at risk of serious infection. Whooping cough can affect people of any age, however, it can be life-threating for babies and young children. Complications for babies include pneumonia, fits and brain damage from lack of oxygen, while adults may experience a persistent cough. The most effective way to stop whooping cough is to vaccinate your child from birth and having an adult booster. An adult booster is recommended at least every ten years. To find out when you should vaccinate yourself or your child, see the National Immunisation Program Schedule.


For more information visit Immunise Australia Program.

Immunisation services