Evaluating the Efficacy of Immunisation Programs in Australia –

Immunisation efforts in Australia have a long history, traceable to Jenner’s work with cow-pox virus in 1798, in an attempt to solve the smallpox epidemic that afflicted the world at the time. Following success in such early attempts, Australia, just as the case for many global countries, embarked on development and implementation of various vaccines to prevent diseases that afflicted its population (University of Southern Queensland [USQ] 2012 pp. 2-3). The immunisation agenda in Australia has been pursued through such initiatives as the Immunise Australia Program, General Practice Immunisation Incentive Scheme (GPII), and the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) (USQ 2012, p. 3). Additionally, there exists a national authority, The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine preventable Diseases (NCIRS), which formulates policies on immunization and fosters research on vaccine development (ASQ 2012). With such initiatives, it would be expected that the immunisation programs in Australia have had significant public health benefits. However, the immunisation initiatives have encountered challenges such as cultural resistance and failure to expand coverage to some of the population thus affecting the effectiveness of such initiatives. This paper evaluates such barriers in assessing whether immunisation initiatives have improved public health in Australia.

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