Immunisation coverage

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 NCIRS, including program evaluations and disease modelling. NCIRS receives de-identified data from the ACIR every 3 months from Medicare Australia.

Summarised here are current studies and recently completed studies based primarily on ACIR data.

Annual immunisation coverage report, Australia

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 2013 annual immunisation coverage report is available below along with a summary of key findings and accompanying slideset containing tables and figures from the report.

All annual reports for Australia since 2007 are available here:

Annual immunisation coverage report, New South Wales

The fourth annual report documents trends in immunisation coverage in NSW for children, adolescents and the elderly, to the end of 2012. Data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, the NSW School Immunisation Program and the NSW Population Health Survey were used to calculate various measures of population coverage. During 2012, greater than 90% coverage has been reached for children at 12, 24 and 60 months of age. Delayed receipt of vaccines is still an issue for Aboriginal children. For adolescents, coverage for the first and second doses of human papillomavirus vaccine and the dose of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis was greater than 80%. Pneumococcal vaccination in the elderly has been steadily rising, although it did drop slightly in 2012, and still remains lower than the influenza coverage estimates. This report provides trends in immunisation coverage in NSW across the age spectrum. Completion of the recommended immunisation schedule at the earliest appropriate age should be the public health goal at both the state and local health district level where high levels of vaccine coverage at milestone ages have been achieved. 

Annual immunisation coverage reports for New South Wales can be found here:

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 introduction of rotavirus vaccine on the timeliness of other scheduled vaccines: the Australian experience

Using data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), we examined coverage and timeliness of rotavirus vaccines and changes in timeliness of other infant vaccines following rotavirus vaccine introduction. Final dose rotavirus coverage reached 83% within 21 months of program commencement but remained 7% lower than other vaccines due in infancy. Coverage was 11–17% lower in Indigenous infants. Following rotavirus vaccine introduction, there were improvements in timeliness of receipt of all doses of DTPa-containing and 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. High population coverage can be attained with rotavirus vaccines, even with adherence to strict upper age restrictions for vaccine dose administration. Rotavirus vaccine introduction appears to have impacted upon the timeliness of other concomitantly scheduled vaccines.

A paper describing this study was published in Vaccine in 2013.