What is immunisation?

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Immunisation is a safe and effective way of protecting you and your child against serious diseases.

Immunisation protects you from harmful diseases before you come into contact with them. It uses your body’s natural defences to build resistance to specific diseases. If you come into contact with that disease in the future, your immune system remembers it, and responds quickly to prevent the disease from developing.

After immunisation, you are far less likely to catch the disease you have been immunised against. If you do catch the disease, your illness will be less severe. Your recovery will be quicker than an unimmunised person’s recovery.

Immunisation or vaccination — what's the difference? 

Vaccination involves receiving a vaccine from a needle or drops in the mouth. This is done by your healthcare professional.

Immunisation is the process of both receiving a vaccine and becoming immune to the disease as a result.

Australia’s National Immunisation Program 

The Australian Government funds the National Immunisation Program (NIP) , which provides vaccines against 17 diseases, including 15 diseases important in childhood. 

By funding free vaccines, the NIP aims to increase national immunisation rates. The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) records vaccines given to people in Australia. Vaccination providers must provide details of people’s vaccinations to the Register. This helps monitor individual and population coverage against diseases.

Page last updated: 30 Mar 2022