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Immunisation is a vitally important tool to protect families and communities against preventable diseases, and The Fono encourages all parents to immunise.

Unfortunately, a misconception still exists that immunisation is unnecessary. Diseases such as measles and whooping cough are highly contagious, and can be life threatening. They can also be easily immunised against.

It is not too late to immunise your child if they have fallen behind on getting their shots.

The World Oral Health Organisation states immunisation is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. It prevents 2-3 million deaths every year and now protects children not only against diseases for which vaccines have been available for many years, such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles, but also against diseases such as pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea, two of the biggest killers of children under five.

Immunisation is a free, proven way to protect children against 11 serious diseases, including measles and whooping cough. Give your child the best shot at life and close the gap on immunisation.

5 reasons to vaccinate

  1. Immunisations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impacts that vaccines have had
  2. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side-effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side-effects for almost all children.
  3. Immunisation protects others you care about. Children still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen reappearances of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) recently. The recent whooping cough outbreak saw more than 11,500 cases of whooping cough reported. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunised. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
  4. Immunisations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care.
  5. Immunisation protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example the smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide – your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm children in the future.

National Immunisation Register

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) holds immunisation details of New Zealand children, with the purpose of helping to improve immunisation coverage. The register:

  • Allows authorised health professionals to find out what vaccines a child has been given, which will help to make sure immunisations are given at the appropriate time
  • Provides an accurate record of immunisation coverage rates – regionally and nationally – so programmes can be planned to reach populations with the lowest rates


Understanding the difference between vaccines, vaccinations, and immunisations can be tricky. Below is an easy guide that explains how these terms are used:

  • A vaccine is a product that produces immunity from a disease and can be administered through needle injections, by mouth, or by aerosol
  • A vaccination is the injection of a killed or weakened organism that produces immunity in the body against that organism
  • An immunisation is the process by which a person or animal becomes protected from a disease. Vaccines cause immunisation, and there are also some diseases that cause immunisation after an individual recovers from the disease

Find out more

Immunisations / Vaccination / Injection services at The Fono

Flu Vaccine / Flu Shot

Travel Vaccines and Advice

Book an appointment at The Fono Medical