Get immunised – winter is coming

May 9, 2022 BY

The Australian College of Nursing’s nurse immunisation team. Photo: AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF NURSING

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is encouraging all Australians to check if they are up to date with their necessary immunisations to protect our most vulnerable this winter.

The calls came during World Immunisation Week (April 24-30), a World Health Organisation initiative highlighting how vaccines protect people worldwide from a broad range of serious diseases.

“During the pandemic, consumers of all ages have come forward in large numbers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” ACN chief executive officer Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.

“However, COVID-19 is just one of many vaccines that play a vital role in preventing serious illness across the lifespan from birth to death. They are the reason why impacts of diseases like Human Papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, measles, pneumococcal and shingles are greatly reduced or eliminated among those most at risk.

“Australia has leading childhood immunisation rates, but their effectiveness reduces over time, meaning regular visits to a trusted nursing or health professional are needed to ensure immunity is maintained as we age. As the colder months loom, now is the time to get vaccinated to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

Adjunct Professor Ward also highlighted that World Immunisation Week was also an important reminder of the leading role nurses played in delivering and promoting vaccine uptake in their local communities.

“Nurse immunisers work across a broad range of settings to provide immunisation services to consumers, from schools to prisons and everywhere in between,” she said.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have demonstrated our adaptability to quickly and efficiently lead a vaccine rollout across the country. In many circumstances, my colleagues worked long shifts in extreme weather to vaccinate our most vulnerable.

“Nurses are also highly trusted in our local communities and provide evidence-based advice to alleviate any concerns about the immunisation process or effects. Our message is clear: right now is the best time to get vaccinated to protect you and your loved ones.”

ACN is the national professional organisation for all nurses and aims to ensure that the Australian community receives quality nursing care now and in the future.

The WHO works with countries across the globe to raise awareness of the value of vaccines and immunisation and ensures that governments obtain the necessary guidance and technical support to implement high-quality immunisation programmes. It said the ultimate goal of World Immunisation Week was for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.