All about your child’s immunisations

Watching your baby’s first vaccination can be an emotional experience. While immunisations can be stressful, they’re important to keep your child healthy and protect them from serious diseases. It also helps to prevent illnesses spreading throughout the community.

What immunisations does my child need?

Here is a table of all the immunisations your child will need and at what age they’ll need to have them.

Australia’s National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule 0 to 4 Years

Valid from 1 July 2013

Age

Disease immunised against

Name of vaccination

Birth

Hepatitis B a

hepB

2 months, 4 months and 6 months

Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilusinfluenzae type b and inactivated poliomyelitis (polio)

hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV

Pneumococcal conjugate

13vPCV

Rotavirus b

Rotavirus

12 months

Haemophilusinfluenzae type b and Meningococcal C

Hib-MenC

Measles, mumps and rubella

MMR

18 months

Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox)

MMRV

4 years

Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilusinfluenzae type b and inactivated poliomyelitis (polio)

DTPa-Hib-IPV

Measles, mumps and rubella

MMR

Source: Immunise Australia Program.

a. Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all babies as soon as practicable after birth.The greatest benefit is if given within 24 hours, and must be given within 7 days.

b. Rotavirus vaccine: third dose of vaccine is dependent on vaccine brand used. Contact your State or Territory Health Department for details.

c. MMR vaccine: to be given only if MMRV vaccine was not given at 18 months.

Why does my child need immunisations?

While in the womb, babies receive special proteins called antibodies from their mother. These antibodies provide a defence for the baby against many serious illnesses. 

This passive immunity gradually disappears in the weeks and months after your baby is born. This leaves your child at risk of serious childhood diseases unless their developing immune systems get added help.

What if my child develops a fever after vaccination?

When your child is immunised he’s injected with a tiny amount of the bacteria or virus that causes the disease. Even though this isn’t enough to give him the disease itself, the body can sometimes start battling the bugs. This means your child's temperature might go up.

Here are some things you can do to bring your child’s temperature down:

  • Keep him in a room that is warm
  • Check his temperature regularly to make sure he's not getting too cold
  • You could give medication to reduce fever, such as Nurofen for Children
  • Offer drinks and food, even though you might be turned down 

For more information please contact your local GP.