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Herd immunity is good for our community
GPs are reminding patients the importance of staying up to date with all vaccinations, including the flu vaccine, to make sure vulnerable community members remain protected.
President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Harry Nespolon has reiterated why making sure you and your loved ones are vaccinated benefits everyone around you.
“Herd immunity can effectively stop the spread of disease in the community. It is particularly crucial for protecting people who cannot be vaccinated, including children who are too young to be vaccinated, people with immune system problems, and those who are too ill to receive vaccines,” Dr Nespolon said.
“The proportion of the population that must be immunised in order to achieve herd immunity varies for each disease but the underlying idea is simple: Once enough people are protected, they help to protect vulnerable members of their communities by reducing the spread of the disease.
“Australia has been able to wipe out many illnesses, like polio and TB, by making sure that herd immunity is maintained.
“However, if herd immunity is not maintained outbreaks can and do happen, for example the recent measles outbreak that has affected individuals throughout the world in both developed and developing nations.
“If you aren’t sure if your vaccinations are up to date, make sure to book in some time with your GP who will be able to assist.
“Vaccines in Australia have been proven to be safe and effective for nearly all members of our community, and your GP can provide you tailored advice on your particular situation.
“As a community we cannot be complacent. Every year the flu, an avoidable illness, contributes to an average of 3,000 deaths and 18,000 hospital admissions in Australia.”
For more information on Australia’s National Immunisation Program Schedule please see here.
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