Population Health, including immunisation, is a key priority area of SEMPHN. The following is a quick-reference guide for GPs and Practice Nurses on frequently-used immunisation topics, guidelines, tips and support.
AIR (Australian Immunisation Register)
The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccines given to people of all ages in Australia.
Recording information on the AIR is important because it can be used to:
- determine a person’s immunisation status, regardless of who immunised them
- determine a person’s eligibility for some family assistance payments
- provide an Immunisation History Statement so people can prove their immunisation status for child care#, school, employment or travel purposes
- monitor immunisation coverage levels and service delivery, which can help to identify regions at risk during disease outbreaks
- measure vaccination coverage at a local, state and national level
- There are risks with revaccinating against certain diseases and people can only get some vaccines once.
Ph: 1800 653 809 for AIR general enquiries
Ph: 1300 650 039 for AIR internet helpdesk
Immunisation Unit, Department of Health & Human Services, Victorian Government
Ph: 1300 882 008 hours: 9am-12pm and 2-3pm Monday-Friday.
National Immunisation Information Line
Ph: 1800 671 811 Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm
Quick-links – resources and tools
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook - a resource handbook about vaccines
- Australian Immunisation Register eLearning modules, to help vaccination providers understand access and use AIR and record vaccination episodes.
- The Department of Health Immunisation website includes the Questions about vaccination booklet for parents. There are also short vides, in-depth articles and links to other supporting resources.
- The Immunisation Calculator for children up to 10 years of age is based on the Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) for all Australian children prior to their 10th birthday. If vaccine doses are delayed or missed, the calculator can provide a catch-up schedule.
- Immunisation schedule Victoria March 2018
- Number of vaccine doses that should have been administered by the current age of the child
- Victorian immunisation catch-up tool for 10 to 19 year olds - available on request
- No Jab, No Pay – New immunisation requirements for Family Assistance Payments
- No Jab, No Play – Information for Immunisation Providers
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition
- The Immunise Australia Program funds free vaccination programs, administers the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and communicates information about immunisation to health professionals and the public.
- Victorian Government immunisation resources - includes information on vaccine orders and stock, adverse events reporting, provider information, vaccination resource ordering and more.
- Cold chain management
- Other groups with special vaccination requirements
- Catch-up: Incentives for vaccination providers
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. Advice for immunisation providers about the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines can be found here.
Free influenza vaccinations are available for the following at-risk groups:
- Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to <5 years
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons aged ≥15 years
- All adults aged ≥65 years
- All persons aged ≥6 months who have a medical condition which increases the risk of influenza complications
- Children 6 months to less than 5 years – Victorian state funded program
Influenza vaccination is also strongly recommended, but not funded, for other groups who are at increased risk of influenza and its complications.
- ATAGI statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2018
- Poster - Confused by the 2018 government-supplied influenza vaccines?
- Influenza Fact sheet for vaccination providers - Get the flu shot before the flu gets you
- Influenza Specialist Group Publications
Adverse events reporting
For all adverse events reporting, contact Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community (SAEFVIC)
SAEFVIC Immunisation Hotline:
Ph: 1300 882 924 (choose option 1)
Staff attend the line between 9am and 4pm. You can leave a message at other times.
Catch-up vaccination for migrants to Australia, including refugees and asylum seekers
People who arrive in Australia as a refugee or asylum seeker are not likely to be fully vaccinated. This is due to differences between the Australian immunisation schedule and country of origin schedules. People who are refugees and asylum seekers can be vaccinated so they are up-to-date with the Australian immunisation schedule.
From 1 July 2017 refugees and other humanitarian entrants are eligible for free catch-up vaccines on an ongoing basis through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Find more information here.
- Information sheet for case workers and others working with families from refugee backgrounds, to support them to meet Australian immunisation requirements.
- Royal Children’s Hospital Immigrant Health Service – catch-up-immunisation in refugees
- Vaccination of migrants to Australia
Catch-up immunisation fact-sheets in languages other than English
Hepatitis B vaccination
These websites have information about Hepatitis B and immunisation, including at-risk groups. Note, on government ordering form there is an additional risk section to order hepatitis B vaccine for the at risk groups.
- Australian Immunisation Handbook – Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B immunisation
- Refugee Health Factsheet: Hepatitis B screening
- Vaccines routinely recommended in pregnancy
- NCIRS fact sheet on vaccinations during pregnancy
- Pregnant women and their partners - free whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine
MSM & IDU vaccination programs
- free course of hepatitis A, Havrix 1440® for men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs, in Victoria until 31 December 2018
- free meningococcal ACWY vaccine and HPV vaccine for MSM until 31 December 2018
- Hepatitis B vaccine as a free vaccine to Victorian MSM & IDU continues.
- Important health information for men who have sex with men: a guide for health professionals and immunisation providers - factsheet
- Important health information for people who inject drugs: a guide for health professionals and immunisation providers
Zostavax® vaccine is free for people aged 70 years plus currently a 5 year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years.
Actively target the 70 to 79 year old age cohort for Zostavax®. Check the records first to confirm that the patient has not already had a previous dose
Zostavax® contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus, and is contraindicated in immunocompromised people. Use the Zostavax – GP Decision Aid to identify patients who may be contra-indicated for the vaccine
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We acknowledge the Kulin Nation who are the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers. We pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.