Child immunisation (PI04)

This indicator is the proportion of Indigenous child regular clients who were ‘fully immunised’.

It is collected for age groups:

  • 12–<24 months
  • 24–<36 months
  • 60–<72 months.

Why child immunisation is important

Vaccination initiates the body’s natural defence mechanism—the immune response—to build resistance to specific infections (immunise). It is a safe and effective way to protect against harmful communicable diseases.

Immunisation also helps to protect people who are not immunised through a process called ‘herd immunity’, where enough people are immunised against a disease to stop the infection from spreading. Herd immunity helps to protect those more at risk of getting the disease, as well as those who are unvaccinated, so that those who are too young or too sick to be vaccinated can be protected. Outbreaks can occur where there is low immunisation coverage.

Children who do not receive complete and timely vaccinations are at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases and the short and long-term health consequences associated with these (AIHW 2019a; AIHW 2019b). Data from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) show indicate that Indigenous children aged 2 have lower rates of full immunisation than non-Indigenous children (88% compared with 91%) (AIHW 2019a). Indigenous childhood immunisation rates fluctuated between 2009 and 2018, decreasing from 90% in 2009 to 86% in 2015, before increasing to 88% in 2018.

At June 2019, 73% of Indigenous child regular clients aged 12–<72 months were fully immunised:

  • 74% aged 12–<24 months
  • 75% aged 24–<36 months
  • 70% aged 60–<72 months.

However, this indicator captures far fewer cases of fully immunised Indigenous children than the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Anecdotal evidence suggests that not all organisations rely on their internal Clinical Information Systems (CIS) to track immunisation status. Also, in some instances, organisations providing data to the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) might not be the only or the major vaccination provider, which reduces the priority that some organisations give to maintaining immunisation status information within their CIS. This indicator may therefore be an underestimate (see AIHW 2018 for more information).

Visualisation not available for printing

Fully immunised children, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous regular clients aged 12–72 months who were fully immunised by age group (12–24 months, 24–36 months, 60–72 months) and reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 and June 2019).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Visualisation not available for printing

Full immunisation of Indigenous children aged 12–<72 months was highest in South Australia (91%) and lowest in Queensland (61%).

Fully immunised children, by either state/territory or remoteness, reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous regular clients aged 12–72 months who were fully immunised by age group (12–24 months, 24–36 months, 60–72 months) for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Australia)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Australia).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 or June 2019 can be selected.

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Visualisation not available for printing

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2018. National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: results for 2017. National key performance indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care series no. 5. Cat. no. IHW 200. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 16 March 2020.

AIHW 2019a. Australia's children: immunisation. Cat. No. CWS 69. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 16 March 2020.

AIHW 2019b. The burden of vaccine preventable diseases in Australia—summary. Cat. no. PHE 242. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 16 March 2020.