The National Health Performance Authority (the Authority) publishes two streams of reports: Healthy Communities reports and Hospital Performance reports. The Authority bases its performance reports on a set of indicators agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
This technical note summarises methods used to calculate the descriptive statistics for the performance indicator vaccination rates for children, in the report Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2014–151. Results are reported from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) for the financial years 2013–14 and 2014–15.
Results are provided on the percentages of children who were fully immunised in 2013–14 and 2014–15, at 1 year, 2 years and 5 years of age, and the numbers of children not fully immunised.
’Fully immunised’ is a term that is defined by legislation and means that a child has received specified scheduled vaccinations according to their age. The National Immunisation Program Schedule lists these vaccinations on their website.2
The current definition of fully immunised for measuring coverage rates includes vaccination against: hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, pneumococcal, varicella and meningococcal C. The definition of fully immunised for measuring coverage rates was most recently expanded in 2013 and 2014 to accommodate changes to the National Immunisation Program Schedule (see here).
The report publishes results for all children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children for the 31 Primary Health Network areas across Australia. Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are primary health care organisations that were established in July 2015 to plan and fund health services in communities across Australia, replacing 61 Medicare Locals.3
Results are also presented for 325 local geographic areas at Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3) and approximately 1,500 of 3,000 postcodes. Data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are also presented for 88 geographic areas at ABS Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s). All data have been aggregated for geographic areas using protocols that respect confidentiality.
The cohort specifications and suppression rules used in the report have not changed since the Performance Authority’s previous release of data on immunisation rates for children. For more information on this see Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2012–13, Technical Supplement 4
Data for 2013–14 and 2014–15 are available on the MyHealthyCommunities website as an interactive tool and as downloadable Excel files.
Note: This Technical Note relates to the report Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2014–15 (In Focus, published February 2016). Data and methods have since been revised. See Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015–16 for the most up-to-date results and methods.
1. National Health Performance Authority. Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2014ndash;15 (In Focus) [Internet]. Sydney: National Health Performance Authority; 2016 Feb 18. Available from: Report
2. Department of Human Services. Australian Childhood Immunisation Register [Internet]. Canberra: Department of Human Services; 2014 [cited 2015 Sep 15]. Available from: www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/medicare/australian-childhood-immunisation-register/your-childs-immunisation-scheduleExternal link, opens in a new window.
3. Australian Government Department of Health. Primary Health Networks [Internet]. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2014 [cited 2015 Dec 22]. Available from: www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/primary_Health_NetworksExternal link, opens in a new window.
4. National Health Performance Authority. Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12, Technical Supplement [Internet]. Sydney: National Health Performance Authority; 2013 Apr 11 [cited 2015 Dec 22]. Available from: Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12, Technical Supplement