NCIRS plays a pre-eminent role in the analysis and reporting of data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) and the use of these data for research, surveillance and evaluation. ACIR data also contributes to a range of other activities undertaken at the Centre, including program evaluation and disease modelling. NCIRS receives de-identified data from the ACIR every three months from Medicare Australia.
Summarised here are current studies based primarily on ACIR data. A number of ACIR analyses, such as coverage by smaller geographic areas and Indigenous status and timeliness, will be included in ongoing annual reports from 2009.
Annual Immunisation Coverage Report – ACIR
In recent years, NCIRS has published a number of papers and reports that have examined various aspects of immunisation coverage in Australia including timeliness of immunisation, small area coverage reporting and reporting of coverage for NIP vaccines not routinely reported in Communicable Diseases Intelligence. An annual immunisation coverage summary report, analysing data from the ACIR, aims to focus the attention of policy makers and others on the most important trends and significant issues that have arisen in the past year.
The third report can be found on the Department of Health and Ageing (CDI) website.
Overview of ACIR first decade 1996–2005
The ACIR is a major initiative in Australia and of great interest internationally. Few data are available, especially to groups outside Australia, in a readily accessible form. This project summarised the development of the ACIR and changes in childhood vaccine coverage in Australia in relation to Immunise Australia initiatives. A literature review and collation of NCIRS data was undertaken. A paper was published in Vaccine in 2009.
Impact of the ‘Maternity Immunisation Allowance’ parental immunisation incentive on completion of immunisation
An evaluation of the effect of the current 18-month Maternity Immunisation Allowance (MIA) payment to parents on completion of immunisation both pre and post the removal of the means test for eligibility will determine whether a nationally legislated policy of financial incentives impacts on parents’ immunisation decisions, and thus on the immunisation status of their children. Two separate cohorts will be tracked to assess completion of all immunisations by month between the ages of 12 to 24 months. Cumulative coverage graphs by age at immunisation will be used to assess whether any peaks in coverage occurred immediately prior to or after 18 months of age. Comparisons of the effect of the MIA on completion of immunisation will be undertaken by Indigenous status and jurisdiction.
Trends in small area coverage reporting for Divisions of General Practice and postcodes
It is proposed that data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register is used to examine three important indicators of coverage in small areas: immunisation coverage at 24 months of age; the proportion of conscientious objection to immunisation in Australia; and the proportion of children with no vaccines recorded on the ACIR.
The aim is to identify low coverage small areas (postcodes) within Divisions of General Practice (DGPs) and then present the proportion of conscientious objectors and the proportion of children with no vaccines recorded on the ACIR in these small areas to assess the impact of these indicators on low coverage. This proposal aims to inform the development of a nationally applicable, repeatable method to track immunisation coverage in small areas within Australia and report on a regular basis through this website.