Train your immune system

You can think of vaccinations as injections of magic liquid that increases protection to an infection before you come into contact with it. More scientifically, though, the vaccination delivers a weakened version of the bug so that your body’s immune system can train themselves on what to and how to fight it.So when you next come into contact with the actual bug, your body has already prepared for it.
Who needs to be vaccinated?
Everyone! There are some exceptions of course, usually people with a serious medical condition (weak immune system), or during pregnancy - but your GP will advise you of this.
Why do kids need so many shots and so often?
Current vaccination schedules for young children from birth to six years old provide protection for more than 14 different diseases. This is because a young child’s immune system isn’t strong enough to fight off disease the vaccinations protect against. So this is why children have so many recommended vaccinations.
You may have also seen some vaccines being given multiple times. Why is this?
  • Some vaccines require multiple doses to allow for the development of memory cells. In this way, the body is trained to fight and can rapidly respond when exposed in the future.
  • For other vaccines, vaccine protection wears off over time. At that point, a “booster” dose is required to “boost” the protection levels.
  • Finally, for the flu vaccine, everyone needs to get a dose every year because different flu viruses can be circulating and protection from a flu vaccine wears off with time.
Why should we continue to vaccinate if some diseases are either gone or seen very rarely?
If people stop having vaccines, it's possible for infectious diseases to spread again quickly, the disease has not yet been eradicated. There are still deaths of preventable vaccines diseases in Australia. Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against illness.
We know it’s hard to keep track of all these vaccinations and when to get them! Picture this, you’ve just given birth to your first child and you’re keen to get out of the hospital and away from all things medical-related. But, you’ve just been given the longggg list of vaccinations kids need to get, and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry - we completely understand. It seems like it’s a never-ending list of different vaccinations and multiple doses at different times
We want to highlight a few important vaccinations for your 2~8 months old!
Hepatitis B
  • What: an infection caused by Hepatitis B virus affects the liver.
  • How: Can be transmitted through broken or penetrated skin, or by mucosal contact (think blood or other bodily fluids) from an infectious person. It can also pass on from mother to child during birth
  • Why is vaccination important?: After being infected with Hep B, this can lead to a Chronic Hepatitis B infection. This is associated with liver failure and liver cancer in up to 25% of cases
  • What: Diphtheria is an illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Infection can produce a thick mucous in the throat, making it harder to breathe.
  • How it happens: aerosol, direct contact w lesions and contaminated objects
  • Why is vaccination important: It produces a toxin that can cause life-threatening heart failure and paralysis. Diphtheria is rare in Australia but remains endemic in many developing countries. Most Australian cases are imported from overseas, although an unimmunised person who had never been overseas died from diphtheria myocarditis in Queensland in 2018
  • What: a serious disease caused by bacteria (Clostridium tetani) that live in soil and manure
  • How it happens: most commonly when you have a wound that gives the bacteria a chance to enter your body. For example, stepping on a nail. Tetanus is not contagious.
  • Why is vaccination important: Tetanus can be fatal. The number of deaths used to be around 70 per year before tetanus vaccination was introduced in the early 1950s. Tetanus infection is now rare in Australia, mostly occurring in older adults who are not adequately vaccinated. In 2016, there were 14 hospital admissions for tetanus in Australia
  • What: Pertussis, commonly known as ‘whooping cough’, is a disease of the respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
  • How: Pertussis is a respiratory infection that spreads through air.
  • Why is vaccination important? Every year in Australia, an average of 1 death and more than 200 hospitalisations related to pertussis occur in infants lesser than 6 months of age. Older children and adults who have not received pertussis vaccination are at risk of infection, and are often the source of infection in infants.
  • What: rotavirus infection leads to severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Thus it is important to prevent this by getting vaccinations earlier.
  • How it happens.
  • Why is vaccination important? Infants and children can be infected with rotavirus several times during their lives. Rotavirus vaccination significantly reduces rotavirus- specific and all-cause hospital presentations for gastroenteritis.
  • What: Vaccines help prevent pneumococcal disease, which is any type of illness caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
  • How it happens: airborne droplets, mucous and saliva (coughing, sneezing, touching contaminated surfaces).
  • Why is vaccination important? Infection with pneumococcal bacteria can lead to serious infections like pneumonia, blood infections, and bacterial meningitis.
Haemophilus Influenza B
  • What: HIB is a bacteria that can cause infections in various parts of your body including the membranes around the brain (meningitis), the epiglottis at the back of the throat, the lungs, bones and joints, or tissues under the skin. This is not the same as Influenza B (flu) which is a virus.
  • How it happens: Spread through droplets, and you can catch it from an infected person coughing or sneezing - even by touching something that an infected person has coughed/sneezed on.
  • Why is vaccination important? Infection with pneumococcal bacteria can lead to serious infections like pneumonia, blood infections, and bacterial meningitis.
Polio virus
  • What: Polio (also known as poliomyelitis) is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause paralysis and death
  • How it happens: The polio virus is highly contagious. It is spread through infected saliva or poo and can spread through contaminated food and water.
  • Why is vaccination important? Australia is now polio-free, but immunisation is still important to prevent cases of polio from coming back.