Immunisation is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of harmful infections.
The more people are immunised in the community, the less likely diseases will spread and affect those who are vulnerable and unable to be immunised.
Modern vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness. Occasionally vaccines may have side effects, however the majority are mild and quickly resolved.
The National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule outlines which immunisations should be given from newborns to adults. Vaccines through the NIP are free for eligible people. Individuals aged 10 to 19, refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 and over are now eligible to receive free catch-up vaccines.
For more information on when to get vaccinated, eligibility and catch-up vaccinations, visit the National Immunisation Program Schedule.
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 is a serious and highly contagious disease (also known as pertussis) affecting the airways. This disease can affect people of any age, however, it can be life-threatening for babies and young children. Complications for babies include pneumonia, fits and brain damage from lack of oxygen, while adolescents and adults may experience a persistent cough.
The most effective way to minimise the risk of whooping cough is to vaccinate your child from birth and have a booster (if you have not had one in the last 10 years). The Queensland Government is providing free whooping cough vaccinations for women in their third trimester of pregnancy to protect newborn babies. To find out when you should vaccinate yourself or your child, see the National Immunisation Program - Queensland Schedule.
Read more about whooping cough in the Queensland Health - Health conditions directory.
Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the upper airways and lungs. It can be mistaken as a common cold but is most often more severe and caused by type A or B influenza viruses. Influenza can affect people of all ages, however can cause serious health complications for young children and the elderly.
The risk of infection can be reduced through yearly vaccination and practising good hand and respiratory hygiene. Being vaccinated builds your immunity against the virus and can help prevent the spread of the virus to other people.
Read more about influenza in the Queensland Health – Health conditions directory.
Vaccination is free to vulnerable individuals including babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. Seek further advice from your doctor to see if you and/or your child is eligible for a free flu vaccination.