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Childhood Immunisation

Childhood Immunisation


Immunisation helps to protect your child from serious infections. Babies and children are highly susceptible to infections, so it is important that they receive their immunisations at the recommended ages. For the most part childhood immunisations are given as an injection in the leg or arm, with the exception of rotavirus which is given orally. Some vaccines contain doses for several vaccines in the one injection, helping to reduce the number of injections that children need.



Immunisation schedule

The Australian immunisation schedule starts from birth, with newborns receiving the hepatitis B vaccination before leaving the hospital. Vaccinations are then every two months until 6 months of age, providing immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal and rotavirus. Immunisation at 12 and 18 months of age protects against measles, mumps and rubella, with the 12 month vaccination also including Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningococcal C, and 18 months including chickenpox (varicella). The last batch of vaccines are at four years old and cover diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio.



Side effects

Vaccinations are effective and safe, although, like all medications can have some unwanted side effects. In close to all cases the side effects are not as severe, or serious, as the symptoms of the disease if a child were to contract the illness, however consult your doctor if you have any concerns.


Some side effects after vaccinations may include:

  • Mild fever,
  • Drowsiness,
  • Headaches,
  • Non-infectious rash,
  • Localised swelling, soreness, redness, itching or burning at the injection site,
  • Irritability,
  • Runny nose, cough or puffy eyes,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea.


Each vaccination has different side effects, the health professional administering the injection will inform you of the specifics prior to vaccinating.



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



Better Health Channel


Medline Plus Medical Encyclopaedia


Australian Government Department of Health



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