Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect children from harmful infectious diseases and at the population level, prevent the spread of these diseases amongst the community.
Australia has generally high immunisation rates which have increased steadily over time, but rates continue to lag in some local areas.
This report focuses on local area immunisation rates for children aged 5 and shows changes in immunisation rates over time. It also presents 2015–16 immunisation rates for all children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 1, 2 and 5.
Results are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas. Where possible they are broken down into smaller geographic areas, including for more than 300 smaller areas and across Australian postcodes. Further detailed rates are available in the downloadable Excel sheet and a new interactive web tool allows users to compare results over time by geography and age group.
This local-level information assists professionals to use their knowledge and context for their area, to target areas in need and develop effective local strategies for improvement.
The report finds:
- Since 2011–12, childhood immunisation rates have improved nationally and across smaller areas, for all children and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Variation in rates still exists across local areas, however the gap between those areas with the highest and lowest rates is diminishing
- Nationally 92.9% of all children aged 5 were immunised in 2015–16. All PHN areas achieved an immunisation rate of 90% or more, ranging from 96.1% in Western NSW to 90.3% in North Coast (NSW)
- In 2015–16, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 had an even higher national immunisation rate of 94.6%. However, there was wider variation across PHN areas, ranging from 98.8% in the Gold Coast (Qld) to 89.4% in Western Victoria.
Immunisation rates for children in 2015–16
In 2015–16 all 31 PHN areas had rates of fully immunised 5 year olds above 90% compared with, in 2012–13, 25 PHN areas.