When should I delay my child's immunisations? What if they have a cold or a fever?


It is generally not recommended to delay immunisations. However, if your child has a fever above 38°C, the immunisation should be postponed so that vaccine responses, like fever, sleepiness or irritability, don't make it harder to work out if your child's illness is getting better or worse.
If your child has an ordinary cough, cold, runny nose or another mild illness, but their temperature is normal or only slightly raised, they can receive their immunisations.

When a child has an evolving neurological condition the risks of disease from delaying whooping cough immunisation should be considered on an individual basis along with any possible benefits from delaying immunisation until the condition stabilises.

There has been significant media attention given to delaying the start of immunisation in the belief that the infant’s immune system may “cope better” with the dose of pathogen in vaccines when they are older. An infant is born with an immune system that is capable of responding to immunisations but it does need training. Vaccines are recommended early in life in order to protect infants from developing dangerous diseases while they are most vulnerable. Recent research from New Zealand has found that infants whose immunisations were delayed for 30 or more days were 4-6 times more likely to be hospitalised with whooping cough than infants the same age that had been immunised on time.

The best protection for your child can be provided by on time administration of the recommended vaccines.

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What if my child has allergies or asthma?


Children with allergies, asthma, eczema and hay fever can have all the recommended immunisations unless they have a specific, severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, to the vaccine or a component of the vaccine being offered. Vaccinators are trained to ask questions about any allergies that may exclude your child from being vaccinated.

Scientific research has identified that immunisation with some vaccines can decrease a baby's risk of developing allergies and eczema when they are older.

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