This is the third report on vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The first (1999–2002) was published in 2004, and the second (2003–2006) was published in 2008.

Documented improvements in the quality of data on Indigenous status noted in previous publications and further documented in this report have enabled this report to be substantially more comprehensive than previous reports. This report includes notifiable disease data from all eight jurisdictions, up from five in the previous report. Hospitalisation data is presented for six jurisdictions and death data for five jurisdictions. National vaccination coverage data was obtained from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

This report is modelled on two other regularly published national reports – Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Australia (produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)) and The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)). It provides a comparison of disease burden and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people not available in the Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage reports, and provides detailed data on vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage not available in The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reports.

Individual chapters are provided for those diseases responsible for a substantial burden of illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and rare diseases are combined in a single chapter. Data are provided for all diseases and vaccines included in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the period of analysis with the exception of human papillomavirus (HPV); data on the impact of HPV are not available from the sources used in this report for other vaccine preventable diseases. The impact of the HPV program has been reported elsewhere,1 but so far there are no data available on vaccination coverage or vaccine impact in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Tuberculosis has not been included in this or other reports in this series, as the control of this disease in Australia is based on diagnosis and treatment rather than vaccination. Data on tuberculosis, including in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are published elsewhere.2

The aim of this report is to present 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 of this report is health professionals.