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About the Target

What is the target?

By July 2013, 85 percent of eight-month-olds will have their primary course of immunisation at six weeks, three months and five months on time, increasing to 90 percent by July 2014 and 95 percent by December 2014.

The quarterly progress result includes children who turned eight months old during the three month period of the quarter and who were fully immunised at that stage.

Why is this target area important?

The national immunisation goal is 95 percent of children fully immunised at eight months of age by December 2014.

Immunisation can prevent a number of vaccine preventable diseases. It not only provides individual protection but also population-wide protection by reducing the incidence of infectious diseases and preventing spread to vulnerable people.

Some of these population-wide benefits only arise with high immunisation rates, depending on the infectiousness of the disease and the effectiveness of the vaccine. Although New Zealand’s two-year-old immunisation rates have increased remarkably since 2009 from 80 percent to 93 percent in 2012, low immunisation rates prior to this time, has enabled the breakthrough of diseases prevented by vaccine, such as measles and whooping cough.

Increasing coverage for eight-month-olds will also require system improvements in the whole immunisation system.. The immunisation target of increasing eight month coverage will support early enrolment and on-going engagement with primary care and well child services.

It is still important that DHBs measure coverage at other milestone ages as this will provide more information about the immunisation system.

Who is the Ministry of Health champion of this target?

Dr Pat Tuohy
Chief Advisor, Child and Youth Health