Articles on Immunisation

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For viruses like dengue, being injected with the pathogen as in a vaccine can open the door to secondary infections. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Explainer: what are antibodies and why are viruses like dengue worse the second time?

Our immune system protects us but when it comes to some mosquito-borne disease, it can work against us. What are the implications for the development of a Zika virus vaccine?
Minority groups such as migrants are almost always pro-vaccination. from www.shutterstock.com

‘No jab, no pay’ disadvantages migrant children

The Commonwealth government's "no jab, no pay" legislation is disadvantaging migrant children. Many families are having essential payments withheld despite their children being vaccinated.
An Ethiopian boy receives a polio vaccination. Africa has done well with polio eradication but lags behind other vaccination efforts. Unicef Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

African leaders step up to the plate to narrow immunisation gaps

Every year hundreds of thousands of children die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Africa leaders could change this if they improved vaccination efforts.
A child receives vitamins during a vaccination campaign against polio. Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

Why Africa is lagging behind in child vaccination

Despite the success of mass immunisation campaigns in Africa, the continent still lags behind in meeting global vaccination targets.
The only thing standing between invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi and our devastation is our immune system. kurtxio/Flickr

Explainer: how does the immune system learn?

The immune system does such a good job most of the time that we only really think about it when things go wrong. But to provide such excellent protection, it must constantly learn.
The Nigerian commissioner for health of Bauchi state, Sani Malam, administers a polio vaccine to a child during an immunisation drive. EPA/Deji Yake

The legacy benefits from Africa’s fight against polio

The positive impact of the polio eradication initiatives on the continent can be felt across the health sector in other health programmes.
A health worker vaccinates children with drops of polio vaccine in a classroom in Lagos, Nigeria. Reuters/George Esiri

Why Nigeria took so long to get non-polio endemic status

Nigeria's strategy to eliminate polio was so effective that it was duplicated to deal with ebola. So why did the country take so long to get off the list of polio-endemic countries?
Senegalese Mamou Tiang, who suffers from polio, begs for money outside a bank on a sidewalk in the capital Dakar. Nic Bothma/EPA

Africa is within reach of being declared a polio free region

It's been one year since the last polio case was reported in Africa. If the continent keeps this up, it could be declared polio free by 2018.
Given the increasing number of vaccines recommended for adolescents and adults in Australia, the newly announced initiatives are a very good idea. Wellcome Images/Flickr

New register shows importance of vaccination beyond childhood

Tucked away in the budget papers is an intitiative worthy of applause – the establishment of an adult immunisation register and the expansion of the childhood register to include adolescents.
The emotional appeals of the opposing views on vaccination are both driven by concern for children. World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

‘No jab, no pay’ policy has a serious ethical sting

The plan to withhold payments of child-care and family tax benefits for unvaccinated children could cost non-compliant parents up to A$15,000 a year. But is it ethical to punish parents?

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