Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccination against a range of bacterial and viral diseases is an integral part of communicable disease control world-wide. Vaccination against a specific disease not only reduces the incidence of that disease, it reduces the social and economic burden of the disease on communities. Very high immunisation coverage can lead to complete blocking of transmission for many vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). The world-wide eradication of smallpox and the near eradication of polio from many countries provide excellent examples of the role of immunisation in disease control.

Page last updated: 20 July 2010

More information on vaccine preventable diseases and immunisation is available from National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

Vaccination against a range of bacterial and viral diseases is an integral part of communicable disease control worldwide. Vaccination against a specific disease not only reduces the incidence of that disease, it reduces the social and economic burden of the disease on communities. Very high immunisation coverage can lead to complete blocking of transmission for many vaccine preventable diseases (VPD). The worldwide eradication of smallpox and the near eradication of polio from many countries provide excellent examples of the role of immunisation in disease control.

Early immunisation of infants and completion of the full schedule of vaccinations up to and through adulthood contributes to reducing the incidence and burden of vaccine preventable diseases.

The "NHMRC Standard Vaccination Schedule" can be found in the publication The Australian Immunisation Handbook. People who have not received the full schedule of vaccines or who are unsure of their vaccination status should contact their local GP or health centre for "catch up" vaccination.

The NHMRC provides recommended exclusion periods for those infected by or exposed to vaccine preventable disease in the publication Staying Healthy in Child Care - Preventing infectious diseases in child care - Fourth Edition. Exclusion periods are intended to reduce the rate of transmission of infectious diseases in establishments such as day care centres, creches and schools, by restricting contact with infected individuals.

Vaccine preventable diseases currently include:

Diseases for which vaccinations form part of the NHMRC Standard Vaccination Schedule
  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • poliomyelitis (polio)
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • haemophilus influenzae type b infections
  • hepatitis B
  • influenza
  • pneumococcal infections
Other diseases where a risk may arise for a particular person or group of people in specific situations:
  • cholera
  • hepatitis A
  • meningococcal disease
  • plague
  • rabies
  • bat lyssavirus
  • yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Q fever
  • tuberculosis
  • typhoid
  • varicella-zoster (chickenpox)

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