Vaccine preventable disease burden reduces by one third

7 Nov 2019

Vaccine preventable diseases fell by 31% from 2005 to 2015 due to national immunisation programs, according to the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in Australia report, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). General practice has played a central role in delivering this outcome.

The most notable decrease in burden was among infants, young children and young adults aged 15–24.

Importantly, the impact of vaccines over the 10-year period were clearly seen as new vaccines were introduced to the National Immunisation Program. Large declines were seen in the burden of disease for rotavirus (85%), chickenpox (75%), human papillomavirus (67%) and meningococcal disease (58%).

The impact of long-term widespread vaccination in Australia is also apparent, with the burden due to diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, rubella and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) remaining at very low levels.

The report also showed a narrowing of the gap in burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. While the rate of burden among Indigenous Australians in 2015 was 4 times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians, the rate of disease burden among Indigenous Australians decreased by 41% between 2005 and 2015.

For more information, read the AIWH report here.