Immunisation schedule and clinics
The National Immunisation Program
The National Immunisation Program Schedule outlines the recommended vaccines for Australian children. Diseases that can be prevented by routine childhood immunisation are included in the schedule. The vaccinations on the program are fully funded - although if you see your GP for vaccinations you will pay your GP's normal appointment fee. Visit Medicare Australia to see the National Immunisation Program schedule for Australian children aged 0-4.
The authorities offering immunisation clinics varies from state to state. You can visit your GP to receive vaccinations but you will pay the usual appointment fee.
Child Youth and Women's Health Program Immunisation clinics offer free immunisatioins across the ACT. You must make an appointment. For more information visit the ACT Health Department.
Your local council may offer free immunisation clinics on certain days of the year (call your local council to check details). For more information visit the NSW Government Health Department - NSW Immunisation Program.
Immunisations at Community Care and Health Centres, non-government health centres and some GPs are free of charge. Although immunisations carried out at GP's may incur your GP's usual appointment fee. For information or to find your local health centre see the Northern Territory Government Department of Health.
Brisbane City Council provides free Child Immunisation Clinics. These are held at regular intervals at various locations. For information regarding council run immunisation clinics in other Queensland regions, please contact your local council or community child health clinic.
Scheduled vaccinations are available free of charge at Adelaide City Council's drop-in immunisation clinic at the South West Community Centre. For details visit Adelaide City Council's Immunisation Service. Contact your local council for information on immunisation clinics outside of Adelaide.
Immunisations at local council immunisation clinics are free of charge. Contact your local council for details of clinic times and locations (or ask at your local child health centre). For more information see the Tasmanian State Government's immunisation strategy.
Free immunisation services are run by local councils in Victoria. The Victorian State Government has a list of contact details for local councils in Victoria.
The Central Immunisation Clinic in West Perth provides free immunisations by appointment. Regional health authorities also conduct immunisation clinics. For details see WA Health - Where To Get Vaccinated.
Personal Health Record
When your child is vaccinated, the details will be entered into your child's Personal Health Record book - which you should have received at birth - and it is important to remember to take this document along with you at the time of vaccination. This record may be requested by child care centres or schools, many of whom require proof that your child is up to date with immunisations before enrolment.
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register
Details of your child's vaccination will be entered onto the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.
The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register records information about immunisations given to children under 7 years old. Your child will automatically be added to the Register when they receive their first vaccination or when they are added to Medicare (whichever is first).
An immunisation history statement will be sent to you when your child turns 18 months and five years of age. Although, you can request a copy at any time.
Government Benefit Schemes
Some Government benefit schemes require your child to be immunised according to the recommended schedule to be eligible for payment (certain exemptions to immunisation can apply, but these need to be certified by a medical practioner). These benefit schemes include:
Child Care Benefit is a Federal Government payment that helps with the cost of your child care. One criteria for eligibility is that your child is up-to-date with their immunisations according the schedule , or if they have an exemption.
The Maternity Immunisation Allowance is a non-income tested payment that was introduced to encourage parents to fully immunise their children. The allowance is generally paid in two installments. The first when your child is between 18 and 24 months and fully immunised and the second when they are between four and five years old.
For more information read our article on Government Family Benefit Payments.
If you have any concerns about getting your child immunised check with your doctor or child health nurse.
For information on common childhood infectious diseases read A-Z of Infectious Diseases - NSW Department Health