Immunisation is simple, effective, and protects millions of Aussies from preventable diseases each year. Australia has one of the best vaccination rates in the world, with 94 per cent of 5-year-olds being vaccinated. However, the number should be higher!

April 24-30 marks World Immunisation Week, where the spotlight turns to the importance of vaccinations for kids all over the world. It’s highlighted during this week that immunisation saves millions of lives by protecting yourself as well as the community from preventable diseases.

Here are some things you may not know about immunisations:

1. Unfortunately, over 19 million children worldwide are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated. Because of this, they are at risk of a number of preventable diseases.

2. There’s a huge number of diseases vaccines protect against. Immunisations can protect against diseases such as whooping cough, measles, German measles (rubella), meningococcal, chicken pox, tetanus, mumps, polio, diptheria, rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), and hepatitis.

3. Vaccinations can save you money! Several vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities, which can put financial pressure on families. This can be prevented by getting vaccinated.

4. Thanks to immunisations, future generations get the chance to live disease-free. Should vaccination be adopted by everyone in the world, the risk of diseases is removed for future generations. At this point, risk has already been greatly decreased over the years.

5. Deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases have fallen 99%! Since the introduction of vaccination for children in Australia in 1932, deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases have dropped significantly.

6. It’s estimated that vaccines prevent approximately 3 million deaths per year. Immunisation saves lives!

7. It takes between 10-15 years to develop a new vaccine. The develop process is a vigorous one, and the vaccine goes through a lot of testing and constant surveillance to ensure it is effective and safe.

8. Some vaccines are funded! Vaccines on the National Immunisation Program Schedule Queensland are funded for all eligible adults and children; however, while the vaccine is free, you may still need to pay a consultation fee to visit the doctor.

9. Seniors are also at risk. While we immediately associate immunisations with children, it’s also important to shed some light on senior Australians. The elderly are at a higher risk of diseases such as pneumonia, the flu, and shingles, which can have devastating complications leading to long-term illness or even death.

10…However, seniors are offered free vaccines. Because of the risks, the Coalition Government offers free vaccines for residents over the age of 65 against pneumonia, the flu, and shingles under the National Immunisation Program.

If you’d like to show your support, tag your social media posts with the theme for this year’s World Immunisation Week, #VaccinesWork!