What is childhood immunisation coverage?
Childhood immunisation coverage is the percentage of children in Australia who have had all the vaccines recommended for their age in the National Immunisation Program Schedule.
Measuring childhood immunisation coverage lets us keep track of how protected we are against vaccine-preventable diseases.
What is our target?
When enough people are vaccinated against a disease to prevent it from spreading, this is known as ‘herd immunity’. Herd immunity offers indirect protection to:
- unvaccinated people including children too young to be vaccinated
- people unable to be vaccinated for a range of valid medical reasons
- people for whom vaccination has not been fully effective.
To achieve herd immunity for infectious diseases, coverage needs to be high. For example, measles is highly infectious so it needs a coverage rate of about 92 to 94 per cent.
Australia’s national aspirational coverage target is 95 per cent. Reaching this aspirational target will give us enough herd immunity to stop the spread of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Did you know? Australia is working with other countries to increase immunisation coverage around the world, as part of the Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011–2020.
How have we been tracking?
We are close to meeting our aspirational target of 95 per cent, with more than 90 per cent coverage for one year olds, two year olds, and five year olds.
Our successes so far:
- Coverage rates in Australia have steadily increased and are at their highest for one and five year olds.
- We have achieved 96.2 per cent coverage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five year olds.
- We have achieved 94.0 per cent coverage for all five year olds.
For detailed data, take a look at:
- current data tables for all children
- current data tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- historical data tables for all children
- historical data tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Where do we get the numbers?
We get our numbers from the Australian Immunisation Register. Vaccination providers including general practitioners (GPs) report to the Register when they give vaccines to their patients.
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