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New combination vaccines mean less jabs
Wed, 12th October 2005
A new immunisation schedule for children will take effect in NSW from November 1 reducing the number of injections that babies will receive at 2, 4 and 6 months of age from three to two.
The change is in line with national guidelines that have introduced new combination vaccines to protect against diseases such as chicken pox and polio.
Acting NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty said as part of the new schedule, NSW Health would include the new 6 in 1 combination vaccine to protect all infants against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b and polio.
“The new National Immunisation Program Schedule includes free chicken pox vaccine at 18 months of age for all babies born after May 1, 2004,” Dr McAnulty said.
“The new program also includes a long term catch-up component for 12-year-olds who have not previously received chicken pox vaccine and who have not had the disease. This part of the program will be incorporated into the routine high school vaccination program.”
From November 1, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will replace the oral polio vaccine that has been used in Australia since 1966. The IPV is included in the new combination vaccines.
“A comprehensive information kit that details the new vaccines and ordering procedures have been sent to all GPs and other immunisation providers to ensure the new program commences on November 1,” Dr McAnulty said.
“More than 90 per cent of all young people in NSW have been vaccinated against a range of childhood diseases. This not only protects our children, but the health of the community by stopping the spread of these debilitating illnesses,” he said.