This paper considers designing and applying punctured irregular repeat-accumulate (IRA) codes for scalable image and video transmission over binary symmetric channels. IRA codes of different rates are obtained by puncturing the parity bits of a mother IRA code, which uses a systematic encoder. One of the main ideas presented here is the design of the mother code such that the entire set of higher rate codes obtained by puncturing are good. To find a good unequal error protection for embedded bit streams, we employ the fast joint source-channel coding algorithm in Hamzaoui et al. to minimize the expected end-to-end distortion. We test with two scalable image coders (SPIHT and JPEG-2000) and two scalable video coders (3-D SPIHT and H.26L-based PFGS). Simulations show better results with IRA codes than those reported in Banister et al. with JPEG-2000 and turbo codes. The IRA codes proposed here also have lower decoding complexity than the turbo codes used by Banister et al.