Ngā painga o te whiwhi rongoā āraimate Benefits of immunisation

Immunisations protect you and your tamariki from infectious disease and getting really sick. Find out the many other reasons why immunisation benefits you, your tamariki, your whānau, and your community.

The benefits of immunisation

Immunisation protects your tamariki, whānau, and community

After access to clean water, immunisation is the most effective health intervention in the world for saving lives.


  • stops adults and tamariki from getting really sick and having to go to hospital
  • stops people dying from diseases that could be prevented
  • reduces the risk of having long-term health issues and disabilities caused by disease
  • stops people from passing diseases to their whānau, particularly to those who may not have strong immune systems
  • keeps your community safe by stopping the spread of disease — sometimes called ‘herd immunity’
  • may mean having to take less time off school or work due to your whānau getting sick
  • during pregnancy helps keep both you and your baby safe.

Before we had vaccines

Common diseases in Aotearoa

Some diseases, such as whooping cough are still common in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Every year, more than a million people around the world die from diseases that vaccines can prevent. Most of these diseases have become rare in Aotearoa because so many of us are vaccinated. This makes it much harder for a disease to spread.

However, many diseases are returning worldwide because routine vaccinations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If we do not stay up to date with our vaccinations, an outbreak could easily happen. This happened in Samoa in 2019 after the number of people getting a measles vaccination declined significantly. This resulted in a serious outbreak that killed 83 people — mostly babies and children.

Vaccine safety

Modern vaccines have excellent safety records. This means your tamariki are much more likely to get sick from an infectious disease than they are to get sick from a vaccine.

Every vaccine available in New Zealand has been assessed for safety and effectiveness both within New Zealand, and overseas.

Immunisations for tamariki

If you do not give your tamariki any or all of their immunisations they will have a higher risk of harm from vaccine-preventable diseases.

You may also be putting your community at risk. High immunisation coverage protects those unable to be immunised — such as newborn babies and those having cancer treatment.

Tamariki who are not immunised may need to be excluded from early childhood centres, daycare, or school to prevent the spread of the disease — for instance in a measles outbreak.

Vaccines and your whānau

It is normal to take extra care when making decisions about your family’s health.

If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about your child’s vaccinations, you can:

  • talk to your doctor, nurse, or trusted healthcare professional
  • call Healthline any time on 0800 611 116 (translators are available)
  • call PlunketLine any time on 0800 933 922.
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