The Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network is a hospital-based active surveillance system employing prospective case ascertainment for selected serious childhood conditions, particularly vaccine preventable diseases and potential adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). PAEDS data are used to better understand these conditions; inform policy and practice under the National Immunisation Program; and enable rapid public health responses for certain conditions of public health importance. PAEDS enhances data available from other Australian surveillance systems by providing prospective, detailed clinical and laboratory information on children with selected conditions.

PAEDS aims:

  • to actively collect detailed information, which is not available from other surveillance systems, about children hospitalised with vaccine preventable diseases and potential adverse events following vaccination
  • to inform vaccination policy and practice, including vaccine safety
  • to improve child health outcomes.


PAEDS is a network of clinicians and public health researchers in seven Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals which also works with several associate investigators, collaborators and contributors.  PAEDS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, with contributions from the state health departments of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Funding from NHMRC grants also supplements certain surveillance activities. PAEDS is also under the oversight of the PAEDS Reference Group, composed of representatives from all participating Departments of Health and independent expert groups.

The conditions included in PAEDS are acute flaccid paralysis, intussusception, varicella and herpes zoster, pertussis, acute childhood encephalitis, influenza, invasive group A streptococcus, invasive meningococcal disease, Kawasaki disease and Gram-negative blood stream infections.

New PAEDS publication

Varicella vaccine effectiveness over 10 years in Australia; moderate protection from 1-dose program

This study used varicella cases identified through the PAEDS sentinel network over a 6-year period and age-matched control children from the AIR to estimate 1-dose vaccine effectiveness. There were 78 hospitalised varicella cases during the study period, all of whom were eligible for funded varicella vaccination.

Although Australia’s program has impacted on the burden of varicella disease, single dose vaccine effectiveness against varicella hospitalisation is only moderate. Greater reductions in varicella disease could potentially be achieved by incorporation of a second vaccine dose into the program to minimise breakthrough disease and interrupt virus circulation.