Immunise Australia Program
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Immunise Australia Program. Information Line 1800 671 811
Immunise Australia Program. Information Line 1800 671 811

Immunise Australia Program

The Immunise Australia Program aims to increase national immunisation rates by funding free vaccination programs, administering the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and communicating information about immunisation to the general public and health professionals.

Latest news

Influenza 2014

The 2014 program starts on the 15 March.Annual influenza vaccination is provided free through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to groups who are at an increased risk of influenza complications.

This includes:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over
- Anyone aged 6 months and over who has a chronic condition placing them at increased risk of complications from influenza

Influenza page (consumers)

Video explaining the National Influenza Program

Questions and Answers for Influenza Vaccination

Information for Health Professionals

Influenza Resources

Full ATAGI statement on 2014 seasonal influenza vaccines

Clinical advice for immunisation providers regarding the use of Bexsero

From 5 March 2014, the recombinant multicomponent meningococcal B vaccine Bexsero (4CMenB) will be available through purchase on the private market. 4CMenB is registered for use in persons ≥2 months of age for the prevention of invasive disease caused by serogroup B meningococci. ATAGI recommends the prophylactic use of paracetamol with every dose of 4CMenB administered to children <2 years of age, to reduce the probability and severity of fever.

Meningococcal Disease

Health Professionals

Summary clinical advice

Full clinical advice

Understanding Childhood Immunisation (updated January 2014)

The Understanding Childhood Immunisation (UCI) booklet is an easy to understand resource aimed at informing parents and guardians on what immunisation is, why they should vaccinate their child/ren against vaccine preventable diseases, vaccines their child/ren will receive under the National Immunisation Program and addresses frequently asked questions.

There are two versions of the UCI:
- detailed booklet on 'Understanding Childhood Immunisation'; and
- the handy quick reference booklet, 'Your Guide to Understanding Childhood Immunisation'.

Understanding Childhood Immunisation Booklet (only available in electronic version)

Your Guide to Understanding Childhood Immunisation Booklet (available to order online)

National Immunisation Strategy

The National Immunisation Strategy articulates a vision for action for the National Immunisation Program (2013-2018). The emphasis of the Strategy is to improve immunisation coverage rates, address vaccine safety concerns, ensure secure vaccine supply for Australia into the future, and use data from various sources to better monitor and evaluate the National Immunisation Program.

National Immunisation Strategy for Australia 2013-2018

Australian Immunisation Handbook (updated January 2014)

The 10th edition of the Handbook was approved by the NHMRC CEO on 25 January 2013 (with minor amendments approved by the CEO on 19/12/2013), under Section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992. In approving these guidelines the NHMRC considers that they meet the NHMRC standard for clinical practice guidelines.

There has been no change to any vaccine recommendations.The minor amendments correct inadvertent errors, clarify minor inconsistencies and provide updated information relating to web links and references.

A detailed description of all the amendments is available on the Immunise Australia website. The electronic version of the 10th edition of the Handbook has also been updated on the Immunise Australia website.

Any future updates of the 10th edition of the Handbook will be made online via the Immunise Australia website and notified through immunisation provider networks.

10th edition of the Handbook 2013 (updated January 2014)

Detailed description of all the amendments

Safety of Immunisation

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that vaccines provided to the public are safe and effective. The 'Safety of Immunisation' provides an overview of the process for registering vaccines for use in Australia and the approach to on-going monitoring of vaccine quality, safety and efficacy once they are in use.

Safety of Immunisation

Clinical advice for immunisation providers regarding the use of Menitorix in delivering catch-up vaccinations

From 1 July 2013, the combined Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) vaccine, Menitorix, was added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule at 12 months of age. This combination vaccine replaces the single dose of monovalent meningococcal C conjugate vaccine (MenCCV) and booster dose of monovalent Hib vaccine previously scheduled at 12 months of age, which means one less injection is required at this schedule point. However, due to the use of the combination vaccine, issues may arise when planning catch-up vaccinations for either MenC or Hib. ATAGI recommendations for planning catch-up vaccination schedules using the Hib-MenCCV combination vaccine, Menitorix, are provided in the full clinical advice. Examples of acceptable approaches to a catch-up schedule for one catch-up scenario are provided in Table 1.

Haemophilus influenzae type b

Meningococcal Disease

Table 1-Examples of acceptable approaches to a catch-up schedule for one catch-up scenario

Full clinical advice

Combined Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal C (Hib-MenC) vaccine

From 1 July 2013, a combined Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal C (Hib-MenC) vaccine will be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule. The combined bivalent Hib-MenC vaccine will be given to children at the 12 month schedule point, and replaces the previous separate monovalent doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal C. The addition of this combined vaccine reduces the number of injections needed at the 12 month schedule point from three to two.

Haemophilus influenzae type b

Meningococcal Disease

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance - School Entry Vaccination Requirements: Summary of the Evidence

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) - School Entry Vaccination Requirements: Summary of the Evidence, provides a summary of school entry immunisation requirements currently in place in Australia and summarises the published evidence on the impact of school entry requirements on coverage rates and disease incidence both in Australia and overseas.

NCIRS Report

Myths and Realities - 5th edition (May 2013)

Myths and Realities is a resource for immunisation providers to help answer patients’ questions and concerns about immunisation.

This new edition of Myths and Realities has been prepared by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS).

Hard copies will be distributed to all immunisation providers from June 2013.

5th edition of Myths and Realities

Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (MMRV) vaccination program (April 2013)

From 1 July 2013, a combination measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (MMRV) vaccine for children aged 18 months will be added to the National Immunisation Program. The MMRV vaccine replaces the separate measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine currently given to 4 year olds, and the varicella vaccine (for chickenpox) currently given to 18 month olds.

More information on MMRV

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program (February 2013)

The national school-based HPV Vaccination Program, provided through the National Immunisation Program, has been extended to include males. From February 2013, males aged 12-13 years will receive the HPV vaccine at school on an ongoing basis. Males aged 14-15 years will also receive the vaccine as part of a catch-up program until the end of the 2014 school year. Females ages 12-13 years will continue to receive the vaccine at school.

More information on HPV

"The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers"(November 2012)

The Australian Academy of Science has produced ‘The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers’ to explain to the general public the scientific basis of immunisation and address common misconceptions. This easy to understand booklet will reassure people of the safety and effectiveness of immunising themselves and their family.

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers

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Help with accessing PDF documents

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Page last modified: 23 April, 2014