- Immunisation and the immune system
- Types of immunisations
- Immunisation and pregnancy
|Medicine 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
|It 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
|The 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)
|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 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).
|Childhood 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 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
For more information, see Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine.
Immunisation and pregnancy
Screening tests for women planning a pregnancy
|Women 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
For more information, see Measles in pregnancy.