Moving towards a whole of life vaccination register
Vaccination is one of the most important advances in public health. Immunisation programs are responsible for the elimination, containment and control of infectious diseases that were once common. Vaccination protects individuals from life-threatening diseases and dramatically reduces transmission within the community. The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer opportunities a disease has to spread.
The ability to capture and analyse vaccination data allows governments and vaccination providers to identify and boost immunisation coverage in areas with low levels of vaccination. Additionally this data can be used as a record of the vaccinations an individual has received. Australia has a strong and internationally recognised National Immunisation Program (NIP), with high childhood vaccination rates. The introduction of Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) in 1996 and the Human Papillomavirus Register (HPV Register) in 2007 has been a key component of the success of the childhood immunisation program.
In 2015-16 the Australian Government committed to enhancing the registers to allow for the capture of data about the vaccinations records for people at any stage in their life. The expansion of the registers lays the foundation for future work moving towards a single, integrated system that will contain the whole of life immunisation records for all Australians.
Steps towards expansion:
- Childhood vaccination records have been captured in ACIR since 1996. Between 1996 and December 2015 only the vaccination records for children less than seven years old were captured.
- From 1 January 2016 ACIR expanded to also capture the records for young individuals up to the age of 20.
- On the 30 September 2016 ACIR became the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR enables the capture of all NIP vaccines and most privately purchased vaccines, given to eligible individuals in Australia throughout their life.
For information about the vaccinations included in the National Immunisation Program see the NIP schedule.