Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Australia, 2003 to 2006

Introduction

Disclaimer: Produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Published as a supplement to the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal Volume 32, June 2008.

Page last updated: 30 June 2008

This is the second report on vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The first, published in 2004, covered data from 1999 to 2002.1

Documented improvements in the quality of Indigenous status data, noted in previous publications1,2 and further documented in this report, have enabled this report to be substantially more comprehensive. The report includes notifiable disease data from five jurisdictions, up from four in the previous report, hospitalisation data by year for the first time, as well as vaccination coverage data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey. Coverage data is reported for individual jurisdictions for the first time.

This report is modelled on two other regularly published national reports. It provides a comparison between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people not available in the Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Australia reports3–5 produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), and detailed data on vaccine preventable disease and vaccination coverage not available in the The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples reports6–8 produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Data are provided for all diseases and vaccines included in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the period of analysis. Individual chapters are provided for those diseases responsible for a substantial burden of illness during the period. Data on diseases with very few or no cases are in the summary tables in Appendices A and B. Data on rotavirus and human papillomavirus are not included, as these vaccines were not included in the NIP during the period.

The aim of this report is to make available recent data from routinely collected sources, along with informed commentary, to facilitate service delivery, policy development and further research on the prevention of vaccine preventable diseases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The primary audience is health professionals. In the near future, a summary publication targeted at health workers in the Aboriginal community controlled sector will also be developed.