Immunisation is one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent illness. Babies have little natural protection against illness and are more likely to catch a disease if not immunised. Having your child immunised helps to stop the spread of infection and protect other children.
Immunisation information is provided prior to your baby having any vaccinations.
Mild side effects to the injections, such as a tender spot at the needle site and a slight temperature, are quite common and usually last no more than 24 hours. In these cases, use paracetamol as directed. These symptoms shouldn’t prevent further immunisation being given to your child. Severe reactions are extremely rare. If you are worried about side effects, or if you have been told that immunising your child is not a good idea, please discuss this with your nurse or doctor.
It is recommended for babies and young children to have immunisations at the following ages:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- 4 years.
The immunisation schedule lists what immunisations are given at what age and are regularly reviewed and updated by health professionals. For the latest schedule of immunisations, see:
National Immunisation Program Schedule
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR)
The ACIR records your child’s vaccinations. Your immunisation provider sends the record of immunisation to the register. It is important for your child to be enrolled in Medicare as soon as possible so that your child’s immunisation records are accurate. The ACIR will provide you and health professionals with benefits such as:
- a history statement or your child’s immunisations when they turn one, two and five years of age
- documents to help with eligibility for some family payments
- the option of getting a copy of your child’s immunisation details at any time
- the ability to track immunisation levels in Australia to assist health professionals monitor disease outbreaks.
Details of your child’s immunisations are kept in the immunisation section of your child’s Child Health Record. You will require this immunisation record if your child starts daycare and when they are enrolled in a preschool program.
A school entry immunisation status certificate is required to enrol your child into primary school. This certificate can be issued by ACIR (in full), the local council or a GP if he or she has sighted evidence of immunisation.