Geraldton Child Health & Immunisation

Child Health Service

Many new parents may require professional help and support to help them prepare for taking care of their newborn. We have a dedicated team of child health professionals to help support families in understanding the growth and development needs of children. The Child Health Service provides a range of health and support service for children and their parents/carers to give every child the best possible start in life.

Services can include:

  • Targeted growth and development checks
  • Nutritional information and ongoing feeding support
  • Parenting advice and support
  • Parent education and counselling
  • Immunisation information


Monday 9:00am - 11:30am and 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Thursday 9:00am - 11:30am and 1:30pm - 4:00pm

Immunisations are available every day of the week by booked appointment.

Child Immunisation

Children’s immune systems are still developing and, therefore, need immunisations to help defend against serious diseases. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children are more vulnerable and have an increased risk of developing serious diseases when infected by harmful pathogens. Additional vaccines are free to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Child Immunisation FAQs

Why do all children need vaccines?

Children require vaccines in order to protect them from serious infectious diseases. Vaccinations help to prevent an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.

By vaccinating every child, it can help to protect their own health and the health of the communities they live in. If more people become vaccinated or immune to a disease, the non-immune people are much less likely to encounter an infected person and catch a disease. This is often referred to as ‘community immunity’.

Furthermore, some diseases are not passed from person to person such as tetanus. The only way to protect against such diseases is through vaccinations.

Are the diseases we vaccinate against serious?

Yes. Vaccines are developed to target infectious diseases that can be serious and even fatal.

Some individuals believe that some of the diseases that vaccines target is normal and healthy part of growing up. However, since the successful introduction of vaccines, the number of cases of these diseases has decreased significantly, to the extent that most parents haven’t seen the detrimental effects of these diseases.

These effects were often life-threatening or caused long-term impairment. For example:

  • Measles is a highly contagious disease and can lead to ear infections, diarrhoea and pneumonia. About 1 in every 1,000 people with measles develop encephalitis, which causes brain swelling and can lead to permanent brain damage or death.
  • Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that can lead to an abnormal membrane to grow in the windpipe. This membrane can grow to completely block the windpipe, making it hard to breathe and can lead to suffocation and death.
  • Poliomyelitis (polio) is a serious disease that can cause paralysis to the arms, legs and diaphragm. About 1 in 20 polio patients die, with half of those who survive becoming permanently paralysed.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) can cause an itchy, blistering skin rash and mild fever. If left untreated, it can lead to scarring, pneumonia, brain damage and sometimes death.
  • Mumps can cause inflammation of the brain and heart and may lead to meningitis and infertility.

Vaccines give children protection without causing the diseases. Getting vaccinated is always much safer than getting the disease itself.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines work by triggering a protective immune response in the body to the infection they target, without producing the disease itself.

When a foreign organism that might cause the disease (such as bacteria or virus) enters the body, the body’s immune system is triggered to fight against the harmful organism.

Which vaccinations does my child need?

The vaccinations are recommended and provided for free through the NIP for children aged 4 years or under:

  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Diphtheria
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus (Hib)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pneumococcal
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

To see the vaccination schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children please CLICK HERE.

Do vaccinations have side effects?

Like all other medicines, vaccines can have side effects but not all symptoms that occur after immunisation are caused by the vaccine.

Mild, common and normal side effects of immunisation include:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Fever, vomiting and headaches
  • Feeling generally unwell

Serious and rare side effects include:

  • Febrile convulsions = response to a fever
  • Anaphylaxis – risk of anaphylaxis after Immunisation is 1 in 1 million
  • Bowel obstruction in the week after rotavirus immunisation

Most immunisation side effects are mild and go away by themselves. Immunisations rarely lead to serious side effects. IF serious side effects persist, seek medical help immediately by calling 000, contacting your GP or go to your local hospital emergency department.

Are vaccines safe?

Yes. Vaccines are developed through vigorous research and testing. In Australia, vaccines are required to pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approves to register them for use. However, like all medicines, there may be side effects to vaccinations and must be monitored closely.