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Immunisation Overview

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Immunisation and the immune system


Video: Vaccinations

Vaccination videoMedicine has made many advances in the last hundred years, and probably one of the biggest ones is the advent of vaccinations. Dr Joe Kosterich talks about vaccination, including what it is, how it works, why it’s important, how safe it is, what’s available, how it’s given and when to get it.

Watch the video Vaccinations.

Human immune system

Human immune systemIt is the purpose of the immune system to act in defence against this constant stream of possible infections and toxins. The body is constantly under attack from toxins, bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, that under the right conditions, can cause damage and destruction to parts of the body. If these were left unchecked, the human body would not be able to function.

For more information, see Human Immune System.

Innate immune system

Innate immune systemThe innate immune system are those parts of the immune system that work no matter what the damage is caused by, and do not need to have seen the offending invader before to be able to start attacking it.

For more information, see Innate Immune System.

Acquired immune system (B cells and T cells)

Acquired immune system (B cells and T cells)The acquired immune system needs to have seen a substance before in order to attack it effectively. This is because the way that the acquired immune system attacks a target is very specific and takes time to prepare. The cells of the acquired immune system include B cells and T cells.

For more information, see Acquired Immune System (B Cells and T Cells).

Immunisation (Immunization)

Immunisation (immunization)Immunisation is a technique that allows us to protect both children and adults from harmful infections, which may otherwise produce serious illness or even death. To ‘immunise’ someone means to produce in someone the ability to fight off an infection. This can be done through vaccinations.

For more information, see Immunisation (Immunization).


Types of immunisations


Childhood immunisation

Childhood immunisationChildhood immunisation is an effective way of protecting your child against a number of infectious diseases. To ensure life-long protection, it is important that childhood immunisation begins as early as possible, and that all the appropriate doses and boosters are given.

For more information, see Childhood Immunisation.

Flu (influenza) vaccine

Flu (influenza) vaccineFlu vaccines are given to people so that their immune system is better able to recognise flu infection if the person is exposed, and therefore has a better chance of fighting it off. The flu vaccines that are given to people in Australia are made by killing (known as inactivating) a small amount of flu virus, which is then processed before being injected into the person.

For more information, see Flu (Influenza) Vaccine.

Measles, mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Measles, mumps, rubella, virus vaccine on white background.   Label is fictitious, and any resemblance to any actual product is purely coincidental.Measles, Mumps and Rubella are a group of three different diseases caused by viruses. These diseases can be associated with significant and potentially fatal conditions. They are all preventable with vaccination. Currently there are two different combinations of vaccines, each with two forms available in Australia, that protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

For more information, see Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine.

Immunisation and pregnancy


Screening tests for women planning a pregnancy

Screening tests for women planning a pregnancyWomen who are planning to become pregnant should visit their doctor and undergo screening tests before they conceive. This allows the doctor to administer any necessary treatments or vaccinations to the woman before she becomes pregnant, and while the treatments/vaccinations do not pose a risk to the health of the woman’s foetus.

For more information, see Screening Tests for Women Planning a Pregnancy.

Measles in pregnancy

woman_pregnancy_polka_dot_dress_100x100Measles is an infection caused by the rubeola (measles) virus. Infection with the measles virus during pregnancy may affect both the mother and her baby and it can also cause increase risks of complications. Infection with this virus can be prevented by vaccination.

For more information, see Measles in pregnancy.

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Dates

Posted On: 27 January, 2011
Modified On: 30 March, 2017

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