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What is immunisation?

Health professionals

Find information that will help you deliver your service to your patients

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 free vaccines against 17 diseases.

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

Last updated: 
28 November 2017