Victorians are being urged to assess their immunisation needs, as well as the needs of those they care for, this Immunisation Week 21 – 27 April.
“Immunisations are required throughout life, not just in childhood,” Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Michael Ackland said.
“Health, age, lifestyle and occupation, sometimes referred to by the acronym of HALO, are the four key factors that determine an individual’s immunisation needs.”
These four key factors inform two new resources designed to assist Victorians to discuss what immunisations they might require with their doctor or immunisation provider.
An online quiz on the Department of Health’s consumer health website, the Better Health Channel, leads users through a series of questions to determine which vaccinations, if any, they should discuss with their doctor or immunisation provider.
“In Victoria the vast majority of parents are vigilant in ensuring their young children are fully immunised but these numbers drop for secondary school immunisations,” Dr Ackland said.
“There are also immunisations recommended and provided free for people from 50 years old.”
Dr Ackland cited travel and smoking as lifestyle factors that put people at greater risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Some jobs may also expose you to a greater risk, for example, working in a hospital or a day care centre,” Dr Ackland said.
“And common health conditions like asthma and diabetes can also make people more vulnerable to some vaccine-preventable diseases.
“If any of these factors ring a bell with you, you may benefit from additional or more frequent immunisations and should take the time to talk to your doctor or immunisation provider about it.”
Reviewed 23 April 2014