Benefits of immunisation
Immunisation is a simple and effective way of protecting yourself and your family.
Immunisation works by triggering the immune system to fight against certain diseases. If a vaccinated person comes in contact with these diseases, their immune system is able to respond more effectively. This either prevents the disease from developing or reduces the severity.
Immunisation not only protects your own family, but also others by helping to control serious diseases in our community.
All vaccines used in Australia must be approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), who monitors the safety of medicines in Australia. Before a vaccine can be licensed, it is rigorously tested over several years to ensure it is safe and that it works.
Talk to your doctor or immunisation provider if you have any concerns about vaccine safety.
Deciding to immunise
The risk of side effects from an immunisation is far less than the risk of severe complications associated with a vaccine preventable disease.
Many of these diseases are highly contagious and can be overwhelming to the body’s defences. Most unvaccinated people who come into contact with an infected person will catch the disease. For example, if someone has whooping cough, up to 90% of the unimmunised people in their household will catch the disease. This means it is not only important for babies to be vaccinated, but also for all family members to be up to date with their boosters.
Vaccination records might be needed to enrol your child in childcare or school. Unvaccinated children will be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of certain vaccine preventable diseases.
This means it is not only important for babies to be vaccinated against whooping cough, but also for all family members to be up to date with their boosters. Vaccination records might be needed to enrol your child in childcare or school. Unvaccinated children will be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of certain vaccine preventable diseases.
Queensland children currently have a high vaccination rate. More than 90% of 5 year old children entering primary school are fully immunised.
If you have a reaction after immunisation
Serious reactions to immunisation are rare. While some people may experience mild side effects such as pain, swelling and redness at the injection site, these usually resolve quickly.
If you experience any symptoms that concern you, call 13 HEALTH, your doctor, or your immunisation provider.
All vaccine service providers are required to report any serious reactions following immunisation to Queensland Health. This information is then sent to the TGA which rigidly monitors and manages vaccine safety in Australia.
Some vaccines are funded
Vaccines on the Immunisation Schedule Queensland are funded for all eligible adults and children in Queensland.
While the vaccine is free, you may have to pay a consultation fee to see the doctor.
Extra vaccines are provided for some groups such as:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- pregnant and breastfeeding women
- people with particular medical conditions that make them more susceptible to disease
Dealing with anxiety about needles
It's common to feel anxious about have a vaccination, particularly a fear of needles. This fear can come from the thought of the needle, the procedure, or the substance being injected.
If you are scared of injections, you can manage your anxiety by:
- relaxing with a few deep breaths
- distraction with a phone or tablet
- playing with toys or fiddle objects
- talking beforehand about what to expect
- asking the nurse to use an anaesthetic cream or numbing device before injecting.
Talk to your doctor for more information about how to manage anxiety around immunisations.
In the video below, we explain some ways you can help your child manage their anxiety about having a vaccination.
Doing further research
If you are conducting research about vaccination, make sure the information sources you use are credible and backed by scientific research:
- read more about how to check your facts
- research on the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine for pregnant women
- read about vaccine safety.