The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers

26 Nov 2012

Common myths about immunisation have been laid to rest in a comprehensive new booklet written by the nation’s top immunologists and published by the Australian Academy of Science.

Devised by a national panel of experts in response to confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain, The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers explains the latest immunology science in accessible language.

Based on a series of key questions, the publication aims to increase awareness of the science upon which public and personal health policy decisions responses should be based.

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers was prepared by a Working Group overseen by Professor Tony Basten and Professor Ian Frazer, and an Oversight Committee chaired by Sir Gus Nossal.

Launching the booklet today, Academy President Professor Suzanne Cory urged all parents to use it as an aid to making crucial decisions about their children’s health.

“The Academy is strongly committed to ensuring that every Australian has the opportunity to understand scientific issues and base their decisions on the best available evidence,” Professor Cory said.

“That’s why we brought together some of the best researchers in the field in Australia to develop a document written as simply as possible, and which is thorough and scientifically rigorous.

“The Academy gratefully acknowledges the financial support received from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing that has enabled us to produce the publication.

“This booklet will enhance understanding of how immunisation provides protection from infectious diseases and the underlying benefits and risks of immunisation.”

Questions answered in The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers include:

  • What is immunisation?
  • What is in a vaccine?
  • Who benefits from vaccines?
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • How are vaccines shown to be safe?
  • What does the future hold for vaccination?

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers is available for download from

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