Notes on the data: Aboriginal immunisation

Aboriginal children fully immunised at 1 year of age, 2 years of age and 5 years of age, 2015

 

Policy context:  Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact on our health system, economy and individuals alike, resulting in doctors' visits, hospitalisations, poor school attendances, poor educational outcomes and premature deaths [1]. Immunisation has been and remains, a simple, timely, effective and affordable way to improve Aboriginal health, delivering positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (and non-Indigenous) peoples of all ages.

Immunisation coverage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is a significant public health strategy. If a sufficiently large proportion of children are immunised against a particular infectious disease, then the potential for that disease to spread in the community is greatly reduced. Another important implication of immunisation is the decrease in human suffering, disability and cost of health care through preventing an infectious disease and its consequences.

Vaccination coverage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is high, and similar to that for other children, at the 2 year and 5 year age milestones. However, vaccination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is more often delayed, which is reflected in around 6% lower coverage at 12 months of age compared to other children [1].

Immunisation data are collected by Medicare Australia, which has maintained the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) since 1996. The ACIR provides information on the immunisation status of children under seven years of age in Australia.

Reference

  1. National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS). Vaccination for our mob, 2006-2010. Sydney: NCIRS, 2014
 

Notes:  The data presented are of registered* Aboriginal children fully immunised at 1 year of age, 2 years of age and 5 years of age.

For the purposes of reporting the data, fully immunised means a child receives the vaccinations due at or immediately prior to the age at which the measurement occurs. It is assumed that all previous vaccinations were received.

The definitions of fully immunised are:

  • Children aged 1 year: Fully immunised at 1 year means that a child aged 12 months to less than 15 months received three doses of a diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough-containing vaccine, three doses of polio vaccine, two or three doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (dependent of the type of vaccine used), three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, and three doses pneumococcal vaccine, all prior to the age of 1 year.
  • Children aged 2 years: Fully immunised at 2 years means that a child aged 24 to less than 27 months received three doses of a diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough-containing vaccine, three doses of polio vaccine, three or four doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (dependent of the type of vaccine used), three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, one dose of a measles, mumps and rubella-containing vaccine, one dose of meningococcal C vaccine, and one dose of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, all prior to the age of 2 years.
  • Children aged 5 years: Fully immunised at 5 years means that a child aged 60 to less than 63 months received four doses of a diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough-containing vaccine, four doses of polio vaccine, and two doses of a measles, mumps and rubella-containing vaccine, all prior to the age of 5 years.

For further information, refer to coverage information produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS).

Data are not shown for areas where there were fewer than 10 registered Aboriginal children or fewer than 10 Aboriginal children immunised.

*Registered on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). The ACIR is a national register that records vaccinations given to children under seven years old. It also provides immunisation history statements to parents or guardians.

 

Numerator:  Aboriginal children fully immunised at 1 year of age, 2 years of age and 5 years of age

 

Denominator:  Aboriginal children registered at 1 year of age, 2 years of age and 5 years of age

 

Detail of analysis:  Per cent

 

Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, Medicare Australia, 2015.

 

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