National Childhood Immunisation Schedule

 

Immunising your child is important

By law,  there are particular immunisation requirements that your child needs to meet in order to go to childcare, kindergarten and primary school.

 

By law, immunisations must be up-to-date before your child starts childcare and kindergarten. The Australian Immunisation Register (Tel. 1800 653 809) will send you an Immunisation History Statement of your child's immunisation status on request  or you can download the Immunisation History Statement from your myGov account.

 

In Victoria, parents of children attending a childcare or kindergarten service are required to provide an updated Immunisation History Statement to the service when/if the attending child has a new vaccine/s, so that the service always has the most current information about the child’s immunisation status. 

To encourage parents to immunise their children at the appropriate age, the Australian Government provides a number of government family assistance payments, which require children to meet the vaccination requirements. For more information, visit the Australian Government Department of Human Services website or visit a Centrelink or Medicare Service Centre.

 

Immunisation schedule for Victorian babies and young children

The Victorian immunisation schedule outlines the vaccines that are routinely provided free of charge to all Victorian children under the National Immunisation Program and the Victorian funded program. It also outlines the age at which each vaccination should be given. New vaccines against serious infections continue to be developed and the schedule might be updated in the future.

 January 2019 update

Age

Disease

Vaccine brand ®

Common reactions

Birth

Hepatitis B

H-B-VaxII Paediatric or Enerix Paediatric

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site

Two months (from six weeks)

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Infanrix hexa

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site, drowsiness, irritability/crying

Pneumococcal

Prevenar 13

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site

Rotavirus

Rotarix

Mild temperature

Four months

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Infanrix hexa

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site, drowsiness, irritability/crying

Pneumococcal

Prevenar 13

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site

Rotavirus

Rotarix

Mild temperature

Six months

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Infanrix hexa

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site, drowsiness, irritability/crying

12 months

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

M-M-R II/Priorix

About seven to 10 days after vaccination: fever (can be over 39°C), faint red non-infectious rash, drowsiness, runny nose, cough or puffy eyes, swollen salivary glands.

Very rarely a low platelet count causing bleeding and bruising

Meningococcal ACWY

Nimenrix

Mild temperature, loss of appetite, irritability/crying pain at the injection site

Pneumococcal

Prevenar 13

Mild temperature, pain at the injection site

18 months

Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chickenpox) (MMRV)

Priorix-Tetra or ProQuad

About seven to 10 days after vaccination: fever (can be over 39 °C), faint red non-infectious rash, drowsiness, runny nose, cough or puffy eyes, swollen salivary glands
About five to 26 days after vaccination: mild rash like chickenpox

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis

Infanrix or Tripacel

Mild temperature, irritability/crying, drowsiness

 

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

ActHib

Mild temperature, irritability/crying, pain at the injection site

 

Four years

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio

Infanrix IPV

Mild temperature, irritability/crying, drowsiness

Six months of age to less than five years of age (from May 2018)

Influenza

Influenza vaccine

Fever, feeling unwell, muscle aches, injection site pain, redness and swelling

Adapted from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/immunisation-childhood - Accurate as of 19/02/2019

 

 

 

Meningococcal Disease

 

MENINGOCOCCAL: The Disease

Meningococcal disease is any infection caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis (also known as Meningococcal bacteria). Although Meningococcal disease is uncommon, it is very serious.

About 10 per cent of the population carry Meningococcal bacteria in their throat without becoming unwell. These people are known as 'carriers'. These people can pass the disease on to someone else.

Invasive Meningococcal disease occurs when these bacteria,  enter the bloodstream to cause septicaemia (infection in the blood, also known as 'bacteraemia') or meningitis (inflammation of the membrane covering of the brain).

Occasionally, severe infection can also occur in the joints, throat, lungs or intestines.

 

Symptoms include

  • limb pain,
  • sudden high fever,
  • headache,
  • vomiting,
  • stiff neck or sore muscles,
  • sometimes followed by a red or purple rash. 

 

The disease can progress very quickly and can lead to death or permanent disability.

Up to 10 per cent of infected people die, even if they are treated with the right antibiotics.

In cases of Meningococcal disease an average of one in 10 people die, two in 10 people will be left with a disability and 10/10 will be hospitalised.


There are different strains (serogroups) of Meningococcal bacteria designated by letters of the alphabet, including Meningococcal serogroups A, B, C, W and Y.

 

In recent years some of these Meningococcal strains have increased across Australia.

Meningococcal bacteria are passed from person to person by close, prolonged household and intimate contact.

In a small number of people, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause invasive Meningococcal disease, which can develop very quickly and causes death in about five to 10 per cent of cases.

Source: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Meningococcal-disease-immunisation 19/02/2019

 

 

Who is most at risk?:

 

Anyone is potentially susceptible to strains of meningococcal infection for which they have not been vaccinated. However those at greater risk of the disease include:

  • Children aged less than five years, particularly infants aged less than two years, have the highest numbers of meningococcal disease caused by meningococcal B strains 
  • Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
  • Special risk and immunosuppressed patients -children and adults with medical conditions that place them at a high risk of meningococcal disease, such as a poor functioning or no spleen, a complement component disorder, HIV, current or future treatment with eculizumab or a haematopoietic stem cell transplantlaboratory personnel who frequently handle meningococcal bacteria.

 

 Adapted from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/meningococcal-disease  19/02/2019

 

As of July 1st 2018, immunisation against Meningococcal serogroup ACWY disease (Men ACWY) is available for free in Victoria as part of the National Immunisation Program schedule for:

  • children aged 12 months 
  • children from 13 months to under 20 years of age, who have not previously had their meningococcal C vaccine at 12 months.
  • From April 2019 the vaccine is free to all young people in Year 10 of secondary school, as well as those young people not in secondary school  and aged 15 to 19 years. 

 

Prior to this date, it provided only Meningococcal C strain (Men C) vaccine. Unfortunately, there is no catch up schedule for children who have previously received the Men C vaccine but not the Men ACWY vaccine.

If your child did not receive the Men ACWY vaccine through the schedule, you may be able to get this vaccine with a private script through your GP at your own cost.

 

Many parents are unaware, however, that the Meningococcal B strain vaccine is NOT provided as part of the National Immunisation Program schedule .

 

Meningococcal B vaccine (BEXSERO) is currently only available by private script from your GP.

Book an appointment at Deer Park Medical Centre, and one of our GP's can discuss the scheduling and cost of this vaccine with you.

 

Dosage Schedule:

Infants under 12 months of age will require two to three doses of this vaccine, given a minimum of two months apart from one another.

Children over the age of 12 months, adolescents, and adults require two doses, given a minimum of two months apart from one another.

 

Cost:

Cost of this private vaccine will vary between Chemists.
We recommend calling ahead to check cost prior to getting your script filled.

 

*Please note*:

Vaccines are very sensitive to temperature and must be kept in a purpose built vaccine fridge.

When you get your script filled for this vaccines, please bring it directly to your GP clinic for storage even if you are not having it administered that day.

If you fail to ensure this vaccine is stored correctly it may no longer be usable, and you may be required to purchase a second dose at own cost.

Please note that this clinic is unable to provide a refund for vaccines which are deemed unusable due to inadequate storage by the person purchasing it.

 

Potential Side Effects:

As with any medication or vaccine there is always a risk of potential side effects with the BEXSERO vaccine.

Please find below more information about the potential side effects and preventative measures you can take when receiving any Meningococcal vaccine.

Side effects of the Meningococcal vaccines:

Vaccines against Meningococcal bacteria are effective and safe, although all medications can have unwanted side effects.

Side effects from these vaccines are uncommon and are usually mild, but may include:

  • localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks, but treatment is not needed
  • low-grade temperature (fever)
  • children can be unsettled, irritable, may cry, or be generally unhappy, drowsy and tired
  • Meningococcal B vaccine commonly causes fever, localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Fever and high fever is common in children aged two to 12 months when Meningococcal B vaccine is given (see below).

Managing fever after Meningococcal immunisation:

Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary (occurring in the first few days after immunisation). Specific treatment is not usually required.

There are a number of treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine, including:

  • drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever
  • although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended (Meningococcal B vaccine is the exception), if fever is present, paracetamol can be given – check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist, (especially when giving paracetamol to children).

Meningococcal B vaccine for children less than two years of age:

Fever is common in children aged two to 12 months when Meningococcal B vaccine is given on the same day with other vaccines commonly given to infants, compared to when Meningococcal B and other routine vaccines are given on separate days.

 

It is recommended to use paracetamol with every dose of Meningococcal B vaccine administered to children less than two years of age, to reduce the chance and severity of fever that may develop following immunisation with Meningococcal B vaccine. 

 

The first dose of paracetamol (15 mg/kg per dose) is recommended 30 minutes before immunisation. This should be followed by two more doses of paracetamol given six hours apart, regardless of whether fever is present.

Managing injection site discomfort

Many vaccine injections may result in soreness, redness, itching, swelling or burning at the injection site for one to two days. Paracetamol might be required to ease the discomfort. A cold compress on the injection site may relieve discomfort.

Concerns about immunisation side effects

If a side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your child’s condition after an immunisation, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital. Immunisation side effects may be reported to SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety and central reporting service on Tel. 1300 882 924 #1.

You can discuss with your immunisation provider how to report adverse events in other states or territories. It is also important to seek medical advice if you (or your child) are unwell, as this may be due to other illness rather than because of the vaccination.

Rare side effects of Meningococcal immunisation

There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following immunisation in case further treatment is required. If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.

Adapted from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Meningococcal-disease-immunisation 19/02/2019

 

Contacts for more info regarding vaccines and potential side effects:

Adapted from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Meningococcal-disease-immunisation 19/02/2019

 

Contacts for more info regarding Meningococcal disease, its impact on lives, and the vaccines preventing it:

Address: T97 Brimbank Shopping Centre (next to Woolworth and Direct Chemist Outlet)
28-72 Neale Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023