Vaccines essential to protecting our most vulnerable this winter

Australian College of Nursing

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is encouraging all Australians to check if they are up to date with their necessary immunisations to protect our most vulnerable this winter.

The calls come during World Immunisation Week, a World Health Organization initiative highlighting how vaccines protect consumers worldwide from a broad range of serious diseases.

“During the pandemic, consumers of all ages have come forward in large numbers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

“However, COVID-19 is just one of many vaccines that play a vital role in preventing serious illness across the lifespan from birth to death. They are the reason why impacts of diseases like Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Influenza, Measles, Pneumococcal and Shingles are greatly reduced or eliminated amongst those most at risk.

“Australia has leading childhood immunisation rates, but their effectiveness reduces over time, meaning regular visits to a trusted nursing or health professional are needed to ensure immunity is maintained as we age. As the colder months loom, now is the time to get vaccinated to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

Adjunct Professor Ward also highlighted that World Immunisation Week is also an important reminder of the leading role nurses play in delivering and promoting vaccine uptake in their local communities.

“Nurse immunisers work across a broad range of settings to provide immunisation services to consumers, from schools to prisons and everywhere in-between,” she said.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have demonstrated our adaptability to quickly and efficiently lead a vaccine rollout across the country. In many circumstances, my colleagues worked long shifts in extreme weather to vaccinate our most vulnerable.

“Nurses are also highly trusted in our local communities and provide evidence-based advice to alleviate any concerns about the immunisation process or effects. Our message is clear, right now is the best time to get vaccinated to protect you and your loved ones!”

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