Many vaccine preventable diseases have more severe outcomes in younger infants, highlighting the importance of timely vaccination of Aboriginal children. However, vaccination coverage has historically been lower for some milestone ages in Aboriginal compared to non-Aboriginal children in NSW and timeliness has been consistently poorer in Aboriginal children.
The NSW Ministry of Health provided funding in 2012 for a three-year pilot project to employ Aboriginal Immunisation Healthcare Workers in Local Health Districts to help close the gap in immunisation coverage between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance was engaged to conduct an evaluation of this pilot program. As a result of the successful pilot, the program is now recurrently funded as part of routine service delivery and is being expanded to include Aboriginal adolescents and adults.