HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Immunisation in children

Aboriginal, 2018
94.3Aboriginal, 2017
94.3Aboriginal, 2016
93.3Aboriginal, 2015
91.2Aboriginal, 2014
89.2Aboriginal, 2013
86.2Aboriginal, 2012
85.9Aboriginal, 2011
85.8Aboriginal, 2010
86.6Aboriginal, 2009
87Aboriginal, 2008
85Non-Aboriginal, 2018
93.9Non-Aboriginal, 2017
93.8Non-Aboriginal, 2016
93.3Non-Aboriginal, 2015
92.2Non-Aboriginal, 2014
90.1Non-Aboriginal, 2013
90.2Non-Aboriginal, 2012
91.6Non-Aboriginal, 2011
91.4Non-Aboriginal, 2010
91.6Non-Aboriginal, 2009
92.3Non-Aboriginal, 2008
  • + Source

    Based on data from the Australian Immunisation Register. Health Protection NSW. Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    Due to under-reporting of vaccination, true figures may be higher than shown. For the purpose of immunisation a child aged 12 months to less than 15 months is regarded as 1 year old,  aged 24 to less than 27 months is regarded as 2 years old and aged 60 to less than 63 months is regarded as 5 years old. Vaccinations required for the status of fully immunised are age dependent. See Methods tab for more information.

  • + Commentary

    The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) records information on the immunisation status of Australians registered with Medicare. 

    In NSW in 2019, 94.5% of Aboriginal children aged 1 year were fully immunised, compared with 85.0% in 2008. Coverage for children in the general population in NSW was 94.2% in 2019.

    The gap in full immunisation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children at 1 year, 2 years and 5 years has reversed in recent years.  In 2008, there was almost a 7% gap in the proportion of Aboriginal children fully vaccinated at 1 year of age compared with non-Aboriginal children of the same age. In 2019, coverage for Aboriginal children was 0.3% higher than for non-Aboriginal children in this age group. During this period, Aboriginal immunisation health workers have been working with families and providers to close the immunisation gap in NSW. 

    A drop in the fully vaccinated coverage rate of children aged 2 years has been observed for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children since 2014. This has occurred across Australia and is due to the inclusion of additional vaccines to meet the definition of "fully vaccinated". 

    Since 2009, the coverage in all children at 5 years of age has steadily improved. The immunisation rate in Aboriginal children aged 5 years has been higher than the rate in non-Aboriginal children since 2013. 

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    • Key points: Immunisation in children


      • Immunisation rates in NSW are high and are consistent with the national average.

      Latest available data for children in NSW

      • The immunisation rate in children aged 1 year was 94.2% in NSW in 2019.

      • The immunisation rate in children aged 2 years was 91.3% in NSW in 2019.

      • The immunisation rate in children aged 5 years was 94.7% in NSW in 2019.

      • Immunisation rates improved by almost 8% in children aged 5 years in NSW between 2008 and 2019.

      • The immunisation rates in Aboriginal children at all ages were higher than the rates in non-Aboriginal children in NSW in 2019. 

    • Introduction: Immunisation in children

      Routine immunisation of infants in Australia began in the 1950s and the first nationally funded program for diphtheria, tetanus and polio started in 1975. Since this time the National Immunisation Program has grown to be a major public health program co-funded by the Australian government and state/territory governments.

      The current National Immunisation Program Schedule covers diseases including: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and meningococcal A, C, W and Y disease.

    • Interventions: Immunisation in children

      NSW children are provided universal access to free vaccines included in the National Immunisation Program Schedule. In NSW, approximately 90% of vaccinations are given in a general practice setting, with the remaining 10% given by community health centres, local councils, public hospitals and Aboriginal medical services. NSW Health has employed Aboriginal immunisation health workers in all Local Health Districts since 2011/12 to follow up Aboriginal children who are due or overdue for their immunisations.

      The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), a State/Territory and Commonwealth cost-share program managed by the Australian Government Department of Human Services, was established in 1996. It was extended in 2016 to record information on the immunisation status of all Australians registered with Medicare.  

      The AIR collects immunisation information from service providers, enables providers and parents/guardians to check on the immunisation status of an individual, and provides information to help determine eligibility for child care benefits and family assistance payments.

      Governments and health professionals use the AIR to monitor immunisation coverage levels and service delivery. The AIR supplies NSW Health with quarterly coverage data by local government area. These data form the basis for the information presented in this report.

    • For more information: Immunisation in children

      NSW Health. Immunisation Programs. Web page available at

      Australian Government. Department of Health. Childhood Immunisation Coverage. Web page available at

      Australian Government. Department of Health. Australian Immunisation Handbook. Web page available at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 10 March 2020