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The Importance of Routine Vaccines for Children

Parents always want what’s best for their children, and one of the most critical steps in safeguarding a child’s health is ensuring they receive routine vaccines. In Australia, the National Immunisation Program offers a comprehensive schedule of routine childhood immunisations, all free of charge, designed to protect the little ones from potentially life-threatening infections. These vaccines are administered at specific ages to provide the best protection against a range of diseases. Here’s a breakdown of the routine vaccines for children in Australia:

At Birth (Usually Offered in Hospital)

  • Hepatitis B: This vaccine helps protect against hepatitis B, a viral infection that can cause liver damage and lifelong health problems.

At 2 Months (Can Be Given from 6 Weeks of Age)

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hepatitis B, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), Rotavirus, Pneumococcal: These vaccines guard against a variety of serious diseases, including whooping cough, polio, and pneumonia.

At 4 Months

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hepatitis B, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), Rotavirus, Pneumococcal: A follow-up to reinforce protection against these diseases.

At 6 Months to Less Than 5 Years (Given Annually)

  • Influenza: An annual flu shot helps protect children against the seasonal influenza virus.

At 12 Months

  • Meningococcal ACWY, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Pneumococcal: These vaccines cover a range of diseases, from bacterial meningitis to the highly contagious measles, mumps, and rubella.

At 18 Months

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough): Ensuring continued protection against these infections.

At 4 Years

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Polio: A booster dose to maintain immunity.

Routine childhood immunisations are crucial not only for protecting a child but also for the broader community. They contribute to herd immunity, reducing the spread of infectious diseases. If a child has specific health conditions or needs, it’s essential for parents to discuss them with their doctor, who can provide guidance on any additional vaccines required.

Routine childhood immunisations are a vital part of ensuring the health and well-being of children. They provide protection against serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases, allowing little ones to grow and thrive in a safe and healthy environment. Responsible parents should follow the recommended vaccination schedule to keep children and communities safe from preventable diseases.

Naturally, the schedule for childhood immunisation may change from time to time. Please, book with your GP to discuss the childhood vaccination.

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