Rural and remote Australians are
twice as likely
to be hospitalised for diseases that could have been prevented with a vaccination compared to city people.
Torrens University Social Health Atlas by Remoteness (Vaccine Preventable Hospitalizations)


Small pox was caused by the variola virus.  Small pox resulted in high fever and severe rash over the whole body.  In 3 out of 10 cases, small pox led to bleeding, low blood pressure, multiple organ failure and death. Small pox was responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths around the world in the 20th century.  A vaccine for small pox was first developed in the 1800's.  In 1967 the World Health Organization (WHO) began a global vaccination program to get rid of small pox once and for all. On 8 May 1980 the World Health Assembly officially declared small pox had been eradicated as people around the world embraced a safe and clever program of vaccination.

Every day you come into contact with germs, including bacteria and viruses. Vaccines work to reduce your risk of getting a serious illness.

When your body comes into contact with a germ, it responds by creating special cells called antibodies to fight and kill the germ.  This is called your immune system.  A healthy immune system stops you getting sick from these germs. 

One of the special things about your immune system is that it can remember many dangerous germs.  That means the next time you come into contact with the illness, your body can respond quickly to fight it.


Vaccines are a safe way of helping your body to produce an immune response without you having to get the illness.

Vaccines use a dead or weakened germ to trick your body into thinking you have got a disease.  When you get vaccinated, your immune system responds to these weakened germs and creates antibodies to protect you. Just like when you get other germs in your daily life, your immune system then remembers how to fight and kill the disease if you come into contact with it again.

Vaccines are a great way to strengthen your immune system against some well-known germs that can cause serious illness and in some cases death.  


When you get the germ in the future, your immune system is ready and can rapidly produce antibodies to destroy it. In some cases, you may still get a less serious form of the illness, but you are protected from the most dangerous effects.

What diseases can I get protected from through vaccination?

  • COVID-19

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)

  • Diphtheria

  • Flu (Influenza)

  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)

  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

  • Measles

  • Meningococcal (Types ACWY and B)

  • Mumps

  • Pneumococcal

  • Polio (Poliomyelitis)

  • Rotavirus

  • Rubella (German Measles)

  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

  • Tetanus (Lockjaw)

  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis )


How do I get a vaccination?

To find out more about vaccinations and to check whether you are fully protected, contact your local rural GP.


Depending on what vaccinations you got as a child, your doctor can tell you whether additional vaccinations would be good for you.

We recommend that most people in rural and remote communities get at least the flu vaccine every year to protect against this disease particularly people with existing chronic illnesses, the elderly, children, pregnant women and those planning on becoming pregnant and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.


The information contained on the Rural and Remote Doctor Portal is designed to assist rural and remote people to improve their understanding and management of their health and access to health services.  The Rural and Remote Doctor Portal is for information purposes only and is NOT a substitute for talking to a qualified local GP, doctor or health practitioner about your needs.  By using this service you agree to these terms.  Any links provided to other web sites on the Portal should not be interpreted as an endorsement of RARMS or any of the services of doctors or staff that work at RARMS practices. Users should always consult with their local GP, doctor or health service if they feel unwell and to clarify their condition and needs.  In the case of an emergency, users should call 000.


We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future from the lands and waters where RARMS works and that it serves.  We acknowledge the Wiradjuri (Gilgandra, Warren, Orange), Gamilaraay (Walgett, Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Inverell), Ngarabal (Tenterfield), Awabakal (Hamilton), Eora (Sydney) and Ngunawal (Braidwood) as the historic sovereigns and traditional owners of the land and water on which we work, and the Barundji, Wongaibon, Wailwan, Barranbinya, Muruwari, Barindji, Gunu, Nganyaywaa, Gundungarra, Ngarigo, Wandjiwalgu, Bandjigali, Bundjalong and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who use our health and social services.


Suite 2, 53 Cleary Street,

Hamilton NSW 2303


Tel: 02 4062 8900


ABN: 29 097 201 020

This contact form is not our preferred means of communication with patients. There is a risk that important clinical information sent to this address may be missed or not picked up, particularly time critical information. In addition we urge all patients to carefully consider the issue of security before sending medical information via unencrypted email.  We encourage patients to phone the practice or make an appointment to discuss clinical issues."

Thank you to Indigenous Art Gallery ArtArk for giving permission to use their Indigenous symbols on our web site.