Dr Jacqui Sutton, 24/10/17
We are very lucky in Australia to have an excellent national childhood vaccination program. In the first 2 years of life in Australia, children routinely receive immunisations to prevent:
Whooping Cough, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Pneumococcal, Haemophilus Influenza, Rotavirus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, and one subtype of the Meningococcal strains (Meningococcal C).
Our program is quite comprehensive and has drastically reduced the frequency, severity and complications of these infections; however, there are a couple of additions to the standard schedule that parents may consider for their littlest ones, and this update is targeted at providing information about those vaccines that are not found on the routine schedule.
As a new (ish!) Mum myself, and seeing lots of new parents, I find there is often a lot of confusion about what our routine vaccination program doesn’t cover and what other vaccines are recommended (government funded, or at private cost). The most common questions are regarding the meningococcal vaccines, as there have been a number of cases of meningococcal disease in the media lately.
But there are a couple of others, particularly influenza and a booster of the chicken pox vaccine, that make the list of highly recommended, but not often completed, vaccines for our young children.
Here is a summary of the most important points, with a few more details following!