Childhood immunisations – what to expect (video transcript)



As a parent or future parent you may have questions about immunisation. Is it necessary? Is it safe? And when should you or your child get vaccinated?


Professor Peter Richmond, Paediatric Immunologist, Princess Margaret Hospital

As a paediatrician, I'm well aware that parents and parents-to-be may well have questions about vaccination. It's important to remember that vaccination is about preventing disease. And the diseases we vaccinate against may be serious, resulting in children being admitted to hospital, or even dying, particularly young babies and children.



Most parents today have never experienced the devastating effects that vaccine-preventable diseases can have on their child and family. It's important to protect young children against those diseases as early as possible.


Catie Wroth, Midwife, King Edward Memorial Hospital

You can protect your baby even before it's born by vaccinating yourself against the flu in any trimester of your pregnancy. And this vaccine will protect newborns for up to 6 months after they've been born which is a time when natural immunity is quite low.


Professor Peter Richmond, Paediatric Immunologist, Princess Margaret Hospital

When we have a vaccine, the body's immune system recognises it as part of a germ and makes antibodies to fight off the infection. If later on in life, even years later, the person is exposed to the actual germ, these antibodies can fight off the infection and prevent disease.


Catie Wroth, Midwife, King Edward Memorial Hospital

Babies receive their first vaccination before they leave hospital, because the midwives give the babies the Hepatitis B vaccine before they go home.


Isabelle Hall, Parent

A couple of my friends had decided not to immunise and they were quite adamant about it. I'd heard of babies dying from whooping cough and that was quite frightening to me. So I went to my health provider for more information and that was most helpful.


Palee Kaur, Registered Nurse with Isabelle Hall, Parent

Hello, how are you? Good, thank you. All right, let's go!



Your GP, midwife, and community health clinic are there to answer your questions. Also, the Healthy WA website includes an overview of the childhood vaccination schedule.


Palee Kaur, Registered Nurse

Your child will receive regular vaccinations throughout their childhood, but it's really important not to forget the four-year-old vaccinations as they are really important for longer term protection. 



After the vaccination, you will be asked to stay at the clinic with your child for 15 minutes just in case your child experiences a rare side effect, like an allergic reaction.


Palee Kaur, Registered Nurse

Vaccines, just like any other medication, can have side effects. They're usually quite mild and they don't last for very long. They can include a little bit of a fever, decreased appetite, or just some soreness or redness at the injection site. Parents can give the children lots of fluid to drink and also paracetamol if needed.



If you have any concerns about your child after vaccination, please see your immunisation provider or call HealthDirect.


Isabelle Hall, Parent

I feel really happy that I've decided to immunise. It's a huge responsibility to make sure that your baby's safe, and I need to get that right.


Professor Peter Richmond, Paediatric Immunologist, Princess Margaret Hospital

It's always better to prevent a disease, than have to treat it. Vaccines in Australia are tested thoroughly over many years before they're approved for use. So you can be sure that they're safe.

So if you have any doubts about whether or not to immunise your child, I say “do it”. It's the most important thing a parent can do to protect their child from serious diseases.

Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page