Vaccine safety can be a concern for parents. Australia aims to make sure that vaccines provided to children through the National Immunisation Program are safe by using a national monitoring system. AusVaxSafety sends an SMS to parents or carers after their child has been vaccinated,to ask whether the child had any reactions. Between November 2016 and December 2017, almost 80 000 SMSs were sent, and almost 60 000 responses were received.
The 2016–17 AusVaxSafety summary report shows that 87% of parents and carers reported that their child did not have any reaction, and 13% of parents and carers reported a reaction after immunisation. The most common reactions after immunisation at 2,4, 6 and 12 months were irritability and fever, and the most common reactions after immunisation at 18 months and 4 years were redness, swelling or pain at the injection site.
Biotext worked with the Department of Health and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance to produce the report and infographics.