Immunisation coverage

Immunisation coverage is the percentage of children who have received all of the target immunisations on the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule for their age.

Why is it measured?

Immunisation coverage is measured to identify groups at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases and to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes designed to increase coverage.

Why is high coverage important?

High coverage is important to protect not only the health of an individual but to protect the community as well. High coverage reduces the spread of disease to those who have not been vaccinated either by choice or because of medical reasons, such as children with leukaemia whilst receiving treatment.

What is New Zealand’s target?

New Zealand has a range of targets and performance measures to ensure that high rates of immunisation coverage are achieved and maintained. These are changed from time to time to meet the needs for the highest priority populations.

In 2017/18, the national health target is 95 percent of children are fully immunised by eight months. Performance measures also aim for 95 percent immunisation coverage at age 2 years and 5 years.

Increased immunisation also contributes to the Government’s priority results for Better Public Services.  Read more about the Ministry’s contribution to achieving results under the Better Public Services programme.

Coverage data

Since 2005 coverage has been measured using New Zealand’s National Immunisation Register (NIR). Detailed national and district health board immunisation coverage data is available.

Before the NIR, immunisation coverage was measured using coverage surveys. The last survey was in 2005 – the National Childhood Immunisation Coverage Survey 2005. The results showed 77 percent of children were fully immunised at the age of two years old.

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