Australian families have clearly demonstrated that we are a vaccination nation, with childhood immunisation rates reaching record levels in December 2020.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parents followed expert health advice and continued to take their children to receive their shots, pushing five-year old vaccination rates beyond the aspirational target of 95 per cent coverage.
Australia’s immunisation rates are world leading. In fact the December Quarter of 2020 took Australia’s coverage rate for five year old children to 95.09 per cent which exceeds the estimated World Health Organisation international average immunisation coverage rate of 86 per cent.
Reaching our target of 95% supports herd immunity to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.
These figures show Australians have both the capacity and the will to lead the world in taking up COVID-19 vaccines, as they recognise how important vaccination is, and how it protects and saves lives.
It also shows the faith that Australians have in our independent medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to provide expert advice and ensure the safety and efficacy of all vaccines provided to the community.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at five-years old have the highest rates of immunisation in the country at 97.25 per cent. This is an incredible result and shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are taking their children to have their shots on time and keeping up to date with the recommended vaccination schedule.
The Australian Government invests more than $400 million each year in the National Immunisation Program.
The national immunisation coverage rate for all one-year olds has grown to 94.85 per cent and among two-year olds is 92.55 per cent.
While not as high as the five-year old rate, the results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander two-year olds and one-year olds continue to climb, reaching 91.43 per cent and 93.79 per cent respectively.
The importance of vaccination is not lost on Australians, the vast majority of families ensure their children are fully immunised against a range of dangerous, but preventable diseases.
Immunisation providers have maintained their routine immunisation services throughout the pandemic and are ensuring on-time vaccination according to the recommended schedules.
Australia’s seasonal influenza vaccination program continues to provide increasing numbers of vaccines to Australians of all ages, in 2020 the Therapeutic Goods Administration released more than 17.6 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines for the Australian market – this includes those for the National Immunisation Program and the private market.