One estimate gauged in a 2017 study determined that just over 4 million Australians each year are considered under-vaccinated, and the majority are adults who are also known to ‘contribute substantially to ongoing epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases’. This raises the importance of childhood immunisations.
What are childhood immunisations?
Childhood immunisations are the ones that are routinely, and best, given during childhood to prepare your immune system for many of the disease challenges your body could encounter throughout life – like tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) & meningococcal disease. They aren’t the last we might need however, when as adults we may have vaccination requirements for a new job (e.g. hepatitis B), when pregnant/planning parenthood (e.g. whooping cough, influenza & MMR), following an injury (tetanus), on reaching mature age (e.g. influenza, pneumococcus & shingles) or of course when travelling.
Risk to travellers
Vaccine preventable diseases can strike and then spread quickly at home and abroad and because they rarely make it onto our nightly news, we aren’t always aware of a potential risk. In many developing countries, and even in some developed ones, where Australians love to holiday, vaccination coverage for common childhood diseases may be much lower than ours or their immunisation schedule is not as comprehensive, providing a large pool of people who can infect others.
How To Check Your Immunisation Records
Check your immunisations on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). If you are enrolled in Medicare and your immunisations have been uploaded by your clinic provider, vaccinations administered since 2017 are listed, including childhood immunisations given at school and private vaccines. If not, contact your clinic for a vaccination record.
Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records all vaccines given to every Australian. It includes immunisations administered under the National Immunisation Program, through schools and private travel or other immunisations. You are automatically enrolled if you are eligible for Medicare.
Read more about the National Immunisation Program on the Department of Health website.
For a variety of reasons, these vaccine-preventable childhood diseases have made a comeback in recent years. Even developed countries like Australia, which was officially declared free of measles years ago, have seen a growing number of local outbreaks in recent years – many the result of travellers returning home infected.
It’s the reason Travelvax Australia echoes the recommendation of Australia’s medical experts and government health authorities that all travellers visiting any country – developed or developing – ensure their childhood vaccinations are up to date well before you leave home (6 weeks is ideal). These include measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, tetanus and polio, plus the seasonal flu vaccine.
Childhood vaccination schedule Australia
The Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) includes a childhood vaccination schedule as well as other immunisations which are given at specific times throughout your life to offer optimum protection - from birth through to adulthood.
Where can I get a childhood vaccination Near Me?
Routine, recommended and required travel immunisations – along with expert tailored advice and information – are available during a pre-travel medical consultation at our nearby Travelvax Australia’s clinics nationwide. For advice or to make an appointment at a Clinic Near me, please call 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) during business hours.