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General topics
Note Some information on this page copied from SA Dept of Human Services web site.
Immunisation

Immunisation has proven to be one of the most effective medical treatments we have to prevent disease. Modern vaccines provide good levels of protection against many diseases and against the disability and death that they can cause. Immunising a person not only protects that person, but other people as well, by increasing the community level of immunity and minimising the spread of infection.

As with most medical treatments, immunisation is not entirely risk-free, yet the currently available vaccines are many thousands of times safer than the risks of the diseases they prevent. Contraindications to a vaccine and the risk of side effects need to be discussed before being immunised.

A large number of vaccines are available. Some are recommended for use by all children or adults and are on the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Standard Vaccination Schedule. Details of the NHMRC Standard Vaccination Schedule follow. There are also many additional vaccines for use in certain circumstances. The use of additional vaccines is described in Specific conditions

The NHMRC strongly recommends that hepatitis B vaccine be offered to all infants born to hepatitis B carrier mothers and to all infants and young children from groups with a hepatitis B carrier rate of over 2% (see Immunisation schedule).

 Further detail is provided in The Australian Immunisation Handbook (6th Edition) 1997.


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