Immunisation: Preventing Illness & Disease
Immunisation is the only effective way to protect your child against many harmful diseases. It means your child will be far less likely to catch the disease if exposed to it. Immunisation is also important to help eradicate the disease. If enough people are immunised, then infection will no longer be spread in the community, and the disease dies out. If concerned discuss benefits/risks of immunisation with your family doctor.
What are the side effects of immunisation?
Common side effects of immunisation:
- Low grade fever.
- Being grizzly, unsettled and generally unhappy.
- Soreness, swelling and redness in the area where the injection was given.
- Drowsiness or tiredness.
- Muscle aches.
- Loss of appetite.
What to do:
- Give extra fluids to drink.
- Do not overdress your baby if hot.
The routine use of paracetamol before or at the time of immunisation is no longer recommended, due to the use of better vaccines with fewer side effects. However, speak with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse regarding the use of paracetamol if you are concerned about immunisation side effects like pain and fever.
What diseases should my baby be immunised against?
Some babies require vaccinations and schedules tailored to their specific needs. This information is based on the National Immunisation Program schedule. Program details may vary between states and may be different for high-risk groups. The use of combination and oral vaccines minimises the number of needles your baby will receive at any one visit. Always discuss the benefits and risks of vaccinations with a healthcare professional. Please confirm with a healthcare professional if this information applies to you.
Note: The immunisation schedule is updated regularly, visit www.immunise.health.gov.au (click on National Immunisation Program Schedule) for the latest information or check with your child health nurse or doctor if you are in doubt about when your baby’s next immunisation is due.