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Immunisations: A guide to getting it right

How much do you know about Childhood Vaccinations?

To fully understanding vaccines can be time consuming and an overwhelming task; what is required, when, why and so much more! Not to mention the Government and other health bodies updating information and offerings often.

We want to make it simple for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the following key information on vaccines;

  • What you need to know about vaccines

  • Myths surrounding vaccines

  • Vaccines at Hawthorne Clinic

  • Keeping track -there are tools to help

Childhood Vaccinations Explained


Vaccination, immunisation, is there a difference?

A vaccination is an injection of a killed microbe (vaccine preventable disease).

Immunisation is the process of obtaining immunity to a disease through the administration of a vaccine.1

The administration of a vaccine triggers your immune system to fight against this disease. Therefore, in the future when you are exposed to this same disease, your immune system memory is better able to respond and fight it.

Why is immunisation so important?

Immunisation is an important factor of aiding people to say healthy and prevent serious infection and diseases.

The first successful vaccine is noted as being developed by Edward Jenner in 1796 for the Smallpox, vaccines. The word ‘vaccine’ is even derived from Vaiolae vaccinae (i.e. smallpox of the cow).2

Saving around 3 million lives world-wide each year,3 vaccination is one of the most significant achievements we’ve accomplished.

The following is advised by the Queensland Government on vaccinations:

“Queensland’s childhood immunisation rate is currently over 90%, but below the 95% needed for herd immunity. Herd immunity is when immunity of the whole population is at a level to prevent outbreak of disease.

Herd immunity helps protect people who can’t be vaccinated:

  • because they are too young

  • for medical reasons

  • because they are immuno-suppressed

  • because their immune system doesn’t respond to vaccination

Protect your child by ensuring vaccinations are given on time.”

Why is it so important for vaccines to be on time?

For the best protection, vaccinations need to occur on time. ‘On time’ means on (or as close as possible to) the due date in accordance with the National Immunisation Program Schedule Queensland. The immunisation schedule has been carefully designed to maximise children’s immunity at the earliest time their body is ready.


Your child isn’t fully protected if their vaccination is overdue, even if they have been up-to-date in the past.

Rotavirus vaccines as an example cannot be given to your child after a certain age, if this time frame is missed, the vaccines cannot be administered and the child will be at risk of this serious disease.

More on Rotavirus Vaccine here.

What if my child is ill?

Knowing how important the timing of vaccinations are, when your child is unwell on the day a vaccination is due, it can be hard to know if the vaccination can still go ahead.

If your child is slightly unwell they can still receive their vaccinations. However, if your child has a fever over 38.5 Celsius on vaccination day, the immunization should be rescheduled. Catch-up vaccination schedules are available and we look at this in detail below.

Vaccinations Explained


The doctors and nurses at Hawthorne clinic are staunch advocates of vaccination. Vaccination is safe and does not cause SIDS, autism, allergies or asthma.


The volume of information available to us on the internet provides both positive and negative information regarding vaccines. If you have questions regarding the safety of vaccines please ensure that the information you reference is credible and backed by facts.

We are available to answer any questions you may have about immunisation, we believe we are the best source of information available to you.

With such an important role to play in childhood health, vaccines are rigorously tested to monitor their safety, as the Queensland Government Vaccination Matters explains.

“In Australia, every vaccine must pass stringent safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register it for use.

Once registered, the TGA coordinates very robust surveillance to detect any possible safety issues with the vaccine.”

Further vaccinations myths:

· Vaccines do not contain mercury
· Vaccines do not weaken or overwhelm a baby’s immune system
· Immunity is not achieved through alternative therapies
· No vaccine is 100% effective

Read more about these vaccination myths here.


Hawthorne Clinic follows the National Immunisation Program Schedule and Government and Private vaccinations are available.

Vaccinations available at Hawthorne Clinic are:

  • Chicken Pox (Varicella)

  • Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus

  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Hepatitis A and B

  • Hepatitis A and Typhoid

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – cervical cancer vaccination

  • Influenza

  • Japanese Encephalitis

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella

  • Meningitis A, C, W, Y

  • Meningitis B

  • Menignitis C

  • Meningitis C

  • Pneumococcus

  • Q fever

  • Rabies / Lyssa Virus

  • Shingles (Varicella)

  • Typhoid

  • Yellow Fever

We also offer ‘catch-up immunisations for patients that have missed school based vaccinations or have moved from abroad.

Catch-up vaccination schedules

If your child has missed one of their scheduled vaccinations, talk to us to find out if your child needs any catch-up vaccinations, to plan a schedule and update your child’s records if need be.

Note: Free catch-up vaccines for all children aged 10 to 19 years.

From 1 July 2017 all children (including refugees and humanitarian entrants) 10 to 19 years of age are eligible for free catch-up vaccines on an ongoing basis through the National Immunisation Program.


Download your free printable version of the National Immunisation Schedule for Queensland here.

An easy way to make sure you are on time with your child’s vaccinations is to download the free VacciDate smartphone app.

VacciDate is a tool to help you manage your child’s vaccination schedule in Queensland for children up to 4 years of age. It enables you to:

  • Enter a profile for each child in your family

  • Enter appointment dates for vaccinations

  • Receive reminders before the next vaccination is due or appointment is scheduled

  • Store a record of vaccinations received for each child


This article was completed using the following resources:




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