Healthy North Coast

It's all about health

What is immunisation?

Immunisation protects people against harmful infections before they come into contact with them. Immunisation uses the body’s natural defences – the immune response – to build resistance to specific infections. Immunisation helps people stay healthy by preventing illness.

The diseases which can be prevented by routine childhood immunisation are included in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule.

Clinical updates for health professionals can be viewed here.

What’s the difference between immunisation and vaccination?

Most people use the terms ‘vaccination’ and ‘immunisation’ interchangeably but their meanings are not exactly the same.

  • Vaccination means getting a vaccine injection
  • Immunisation means becoming immune to a disease following vaccination

The term ‘immunisation’ is used in this website as it’s most commonly used in the community.

How does immunisation work?

All forms of immunisation work in the same way.

When a person is vaccinated their body produces an immune response against the disease, but without the person suffering any symptoms. If/when a person comes in contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will respond fast enough to prevent the person developing the disease.