Immunise Your Children (DVD compilation)

Immunise Your Children (DVD compilation)

HE Code: 
Publication date: 
28 August 2008
Revision date: 
June 2011
Status: Hard copies currently out of stock.
This compilation of three video presentations for general, Māori, and Pacific audiences helps parents to make an informed choice to immunise. It explains: what diseases immunisation protects against; what happens at a vaccination and how to care for the baby or child.

Educators’ Guide - Immunise your children

In three versions:

  • All audiences
  • Māori
  • Pacific

DVD presentations about childhood vaccinations for parents and caregivers.


Immunise Your Children has been filmed for the following audiences:

  • general (running time 10:25)
  • Māori (running time 9:37)
  • Pacific (running time 11:23).

These versions are available on a single DVD.

On the DVD, select the version you wish to view from the main screen by clicking on the title line.

Immunise Your Children is directed at expectant or first-time parents wanting to know about immunisation for their baby. It may also be used for school and community groups for immunisation information and/or education. Each presentation is delivered in English but reflects the differing audiences through the participants, settings, graphics, and backing tracks. Each presentation covers:

  • how immunisation works
  • the diseases that immunisation protects against
  • why it’s important to be immunised.

Some shared key messages are emphasised:

  • Immunisation protects babies and children from serious diseases.
  • Vaccinations are free of charge.
  • Vaccines for babies and children are safe and effective.
  • It’s important for children to be vaccinated at the recommended times for full protection.
  • It’s important to complete all doses.
  • It’s never too late to start or to catch up on missed doses.
  • Good levels of vaccination (and resulting immunity) help to protect the whole community.

Hand out the pamphlet Immunise Your Children, HE1327, or the appropriate translation, for participants to take home. The pamphlet reinforces what the presentations describe and provides links to further sources of information.

Resources for parents

View or order the health education (HE) immunisation resources online at:

Immunise Your Children

Available as:


Text only leaflets

English, HE1327

Samoan, HE1532

Te reo Māori, HE1531

Tongan, HE1533 (online only)

Niuean, HE1534

Tokelauan, HE1536

Arabic, HE1538

Korean, HE1540

Simplified Chinese, HE1542

Cook Islands Māori,  HE1535

Fijian, HE1537 (online only)

Hindi, HE1539

Traditional Chinese, HE1541 (online only)

Key points in the video presentations

Immunisation and how it works

Many people use the terms vaccination and immunisation interchangeably. They have different but related meanings.

Vaccination means the administration (usually by injection) of a vaccine. A vaccine contains a killed or weakened form of a disease-causing organism. Introducing the vaccine into the body encourages the production of antibodies to fight the disease.

Vaccines stimulate your child’s body to make antibodies against the infection. These antibodies will protect your child from this disease. This process is called immunisation.

Why immunisation is important

Immunisation protects children from several serious and preventable diseases.

When a sufficient number of babies and young children complete their scheduled vaccinations, this also helps to protect the whole community from some of these diseases, e.g., measles.

Getting immunised

The National Immunisation Schedule is set out below, as in the core pamphlet Immunise Your Children, code HE1327. The layout has been designed to reflect what parents and caregivers most commonly ask about the vaccination events:

  • When is each vaccination due?
  • What vaccines will be given?
  • How many injections will each vaccination involve?
  • What diseases does each vaccine protect against?


The National Immunisation Schedule

Age Diseases covered and Vaccines
6 weeks Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
3 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
5 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
15 months Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (Act-HIB)
1 injection (M-M-R® ll)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
4 years Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio
1 injection (INFANRIX™ -IPV)
1 injection (M-M-R® ll)
11 years Tetanus/Diphtheria/Whooping cough
1 injection (BOOSTRIX™)
12 years
girls only
Human papillomavirus
3 doses given over 6 months (GARDASIL®)

Vaccinations which may be given at birth

As well as the vaccinations on the National Immunisation Schedule, some babies may be offered additional immunisations. (These should be discussed with the woman’s lead maternity carer.)

  • Babies of mothers who are hepatitis B carriers will be offered hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG (hepatitis B immunoglobulin) antibodies at or as close as possible to birth.
  • Babies at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) will be offered BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine.

The diseases covered

The key points are:

  • that the National Immunisation Schedule (and the diseases which children are protected against) may change as more effective vaccines become available
  • that all vaccine-preventable diseases have potentially severe effects.

The diseases currently covered by the National Immunisation Schedule are:

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (girls only)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio (poliomyelitis)
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough (pertussis).

These diseases are described briefly in the three video presentations and on a panel of the pamphlet Immunise Your Children, HE1327. Participants wanting more information on a specific disease can check the detailed tables in the A5 booklet Childhood Immunisation: More information for parents, HE1323. These tables also set out the risks associated with contracting the disease versus the risks associated with the vaccine.

Recording immunisations

A personal record

Parents and caregivers can use the relevant section in their Well Child Tamariki Ora Health Book, code HE7012, to record their child’s immunisation history.

The National Immunisation Register (NIR)

The NIR is a computerised information system that holds each child’s immunisation details. Parents and caregivers can choose to opt off the NIR by completing and signing a form provided by their doctor or practice nurse.

The benefits of the NIR are:

  • An accurate immunisation history is available to the parents/caregivers and to authorised medical staff.
  • The NIR will tell the health care provider when the child’s next immunisations are due, or if they are overdue.
  • Data recorded on the NIR will help Medical Officers of Health manage outbreaks of infectious diseases.


National Immunisation Register (NIR): available as

Available as:


Text only leaflets

English, HE1501

Samoan, HE1544

Te reo Māori, HE1543

Tongan, HE1545 (online only)

Niuean, HE1546 (online only)

Tokelauan, HE1548 (online only)

Arabic, HE1550 (online only)

Korean, HE1552 (online only)

Simplified Chinese, HE1554 (online only)

Cook Islands Māori, HE1547 (online only)

Fijian, HE1549 (online only)

Hindi, HE1551 (online only)

Traditional Chinese, HE1553 (online only)

The immunisation certificate

Early childhood services and schools must ask to see an immunisation certificate when a child is enrolled even if parents/caregivers have opted not to have their child vaccinated. A copy of the certificate is included in the Well Child Tamariki Ora Health Book, HE7012. The doctor or practice nurse usually signs the certificate when giving the 15-month vaccinations and again after the four-year-old vaccinations.

Children who are not immunised cannot be refused entry to early childhood services or schools.

Key talking points

Is vaccination safe? Am I making the right decision for my baby?

The vaccines used in the New Zealand immunisation programme have been extensively tested worldwide and demonstrated to be safe and effective. Vaccines used in the New Zealand programme are monitored, and any adverse reactions are recorded. Combined vaccines (vaccines that provide protection against more that one disease in one injection) do not overload the baby’s or child’s immune system and offer good protection against the diseases concerned. They also mean that fewer injections and clinic visits are required overall.

It is important to note that risks associated with vaccination in news items or on the internet may not be based on dependable sources and research.

Completing the vaccinations on the National Immunisation Schedule helps to build both personal and community immunity from several serious diseases. Serious adverse reactions to vaccinations are uncommon.

What happens at a vaccination visit?

Up to three injections are given at any one vaccination. They are each given at a different place on a leg or arm. The baby or child may be briefly upset and will need to be comforted. Parents and caregivers may find it useful to share practical tips on how to handle their child during and after a vaccination.

Children need to wait at the clinic or surgery for 20 minutes after a vaccine is given to make sure that treatment is at hand if the rare allergic reaction anaphylaxis occurs.

How will my baby react? What should I do?

Mild reactions to vaccinations are common and may last up to two days. These expected reactions are:

  • pain, swelling and redness in the area where the injection was given
  • low-grade fever
  • being unsettled and generally unhappy.

Give the baby or child extra fluids to drink. Give paracetamol or ibuprofen only as advised by your nurse or doctor.

More serious reactions are very rare. If parents and caregivers are concerned, they should contact their doctor or practice nurse. A separate pamphlet on vaccine reactions (HE1504) is also available.

Informed consent

It is a parent’s choice to immunise their child or not. The Ministry of Health supports immunisation and provides information to help parents and caregivers make an informed choice about whether to immunise their child. Before immunisation, the doctor or nurse will provide information and answer any questions. The doctor or nurse will check that parents have sufficient information to make a decision about whether or not to immunise their child.

Information and support

Resources for health professionals

Resources for parents and caregivers

  • For concerns or questions, parents and caregivers should be directed in the first instance to their doctor, practice nurse, Plunket nurse or healthcare provider.
  • Ministry of Health:
  • Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC): or freephone 0800 466 863.
  • View or order the health education resources (listed in the resource sections of this guide) at

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