Baby immunisation involves giving bub a series of vaccines containing tiny, weakened amounts of dangerous diseases. When bub is injected with low doses of a disease their body builds antibodies against them so if they do come into contact with a deadly disease their immune system has the ability to fight them. Baby immunisation programs aim to improve health by preventing babies from catching and spreading the real disease.
Many infectious diseases have been mostly eradicated in Australia and New Zealand because of national programs of immunisation. Diseases such as small pox, polio, rubella, measles and mumps are rarely seen these days because of the success of these programs.
It is your choice to immunise your bub, so it’s important to make sure you know all the facts to help you make an informed decision. Take a look at our frequently asked questions for more info on baby immunisations and talk to your doctor or child health provider if you have any concerns.
Occasionally babies can have a very mild reaction to immunisation. Take a look at local reactions and management for the main types of reactions to baby immunisation. If at any point you are at all concerned about your baby’s reaction to a vaccination, or their general health, contact your Doctor or Child Health Professional immediately.
The New Zealand Immunisation Program starts from birth – the first injection is usually given at 6 weeks of age. There are a number of important vaccines that are usually taken in bub’s first year. Take a look at the immunisation chart for details of the New Zealand National Immunisation Program Schedule.
Take a look at our list of resources for further info on Immunisation and infectious diseases.