Largely as a result of childhood immunisation, deaths from common vaccine-preventable diseases in New Zealand have decreased by more than 99%. The current infant immunisation schedule includes vaccines against 10 potentially serious infectious diseases, specifically diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B), measles, mumps, pneumoccocal disease, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, rubella and tetanus. With the exception of polio, these diseases are still widespread in the world, and from time-to-time, many can be found within our local communities. So it is still possible for non-immune people to suffer severe illness and even death from these vaccine-preventable diseases.
No vaccine is completely without the possibility of a side effect, but the risk posed by these diseases far outweighs the risk of any side effects from vaccination. Common side effects are local redness and soreness at an injection site and mild fever. Paracetamol might be needed to help ease the fever and soreness. Serious side effects are rare.