Immunisation barriers in child-hood


Immunisation barriers in child-hood

Immunisation is a simple and effective way of protecting children from serious diseases. It not only helps protect individuals, it also protects the broader community by minimising the spread of disease.

Vaccines work 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, preventing the disease from developing or greatly reducing its severity.

Immunisation protects against many serious childhood diseases, including:

  • whooping cough (pertussis)
  • measles
  • German measles (rubella)
  • meningococcal C
  • pneumococcal disease
  • chickenpox (varicella)
  • tetanus
  • mumps
  • polio
  • diphtheria
  • rotavirus
  • Hepatitis.


The National Immunisation Program Schedule recommends certain vaccinations at certain times. Childhood immunisations are recommended at birth, two months (can be given at six weeks), four months, six months, 12 months, 18 months and four years (can be given at 3 years 6 months).


You can obtain the latest schedule information by talking to your immunisation provider, calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visiting Immunisation.

Some children (eg. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children or children with medical risk factors) may require additional vaccines. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or immunisation provider.

Students in Year 8 and Year 10 are also offered recommended vaccines through a school-based program.

Fifteen indicators of potential barriers/facilitators were available, representing: perceived medical contraindications (parents may believe that their child is too ill to be immunised [there are few, extremely rare, genuine contraindications, lack of access to medical services, lack of social support, maternal psychological well being, competing pressures (such as large families) and formal group childcare (at the time of data collection, parents were eligible for childcare assistance if their child was fully immunised, and childcare providers may encourage or require children to be immunised). These variables were dichotomised and entered into a latent class model to identify clusters of barriers within the population.

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Media Contact:
John Kimberly
Editorial Manager
Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination