Children's Health service at Burpengary East Medical CentreChildren’s Health & Immunisations

At Burpengary East Medical Centre we understand how busy – and chaotic – those first few years can be.

We offer a holistic approach and can help you with planning for your baby, looking after you during pregnancy, sharing the trials and tribulations of early childhood with you and your on-going family planning requirements.

We can also look after your child’s ongoing immunisation vaccinations and provide expert care for your whole family.

Come in and say hello to our lovely nursing team who will look after you and your bub.

Some of our Children’s Health & Immunisations services include:


Paediatric Vaccinations

At Burpengary East Medical Centre, we provide all childhood vaccinations and these are free to holders of Medicare cards.

Our Practice Nurses are immunisation accredited providers and regularly attend courses to update their knowledge of the changing paediatric vaccination schedule.

At this time, all babies are immunised against Hepatitis B while at the hospital on the day of their birth. They are then given vaccinations at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months and then again at 12 months, 18 months and 4 years of age.

Adolescents generally receive any vaccinations required via their schools – but catch up vaccinations can occur at the surgery if required.


Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is the name of a range of illnesses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can cause blood and brain infections such as meningitis. Speak to our qualified staff if you want to know more or have any concerns in this area.


Pertussis Vaccination & Illness (commonly known as Whooping Cough)

Whooping Cough – or Pertussis – rates in Australia reached a 20-year high in 2011 with over 38,500 cases being diagnosed.

Sadly, several babies have died from complications from whooping cough which is often caught from unvaccinated adults affected with Pertussis. This has led to a change in the immunisation schedule, with infants now being vaccinated against this disease at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months.

Annually, there are 300,000 deaths worldwide from Pertussis and while the Pertussis vaccine is good at decreasing the risk of severe disease and death, it does not prevent the illness altogether. But those immunised are less likely to transmit infection to those around them (if infected) and they would experience a milder version of the illness.

Initially, the Pertussis vaccine was provided free of charge to all new parents, but this procedure ceased in June 2012. We strongly recommend that all new parents continue to receive the Pertussis vaccine, as well as all adults – such as grandparents and carers – or anyone who will be in close contact with the infant.

It is an inactive vaccine with few side effects – and is free for all children and adolescents with Medicare cards – and approximately $45 otherwise.

It is ideal if women get vaccinated pre-pregnancy to provide immunity to their babies in the 6-week period before other routine vaccinations – which is the most high-risk time. Immunity increases after the second vaccination which is given at 4-month mark of the pregnancy.


Flu Vaccine and Influenza

If you travel on public transport, work in large air-conditioned office or travel frequently on planes you will have an elevated risk of contracting influenza and so we recommend and provide the annual influenza vaccine.

Your immunity decreases over time and therefore vaccination is needed every year to ensure you continue to be protected. We recommend vaccinating in autumn to allow time for your immunity to be strengthened before the flu season starts. Even if you received a flu vaccination towards the end of the last flu season, you should still be re-vaccinated before the next flu season.

The flu vaccine is now provided free to all at high risk from influenza such as pregnant women, diabetics, asthmatics and others with chronic medical illnesses.

Those who are unvaccinated and become infected and who are at high risk – or in contact with those at high risk – should seek medical attention within 48 hours of becoming sick to discuss treatment options such as antiviral medication.


Measles

Measles immunity is often very low in the 19 to 32-year-old age group. Measles outbreaks still occur periodically, often from people contracting the disease while travelling overseas, so it is advisable to update measles your vaccination if you are in this ‘at-risk’ age group. Your immunity can be determined with a simple blood test.


Rubella

Rubella immunity often decreases over time and there is a special risk to pregnant women of contracting the disease. Immunity is checked and a vaccination provided to non-immune women prior to pregnancy and after vaccination, pregnancy must be avoided for one month as it is a live vaccine.


Chickenpox

Children now receive this vaccine at 18 months of age but it has been found that many adults are non-immune. This can be confirmed by a simple blood test, and then 2 injections are given over a 2-month period to achieve immunity. Immunity to chickenpox is also very important pre-pregnancy.


Pneumonia

Medical research has found that people aged 65 and over are at higher risk of contracting pneumonia – so a free vaccine is given against this. The same vaccine is also given to high risk groups at an earlier age.