In this section
<4 years4 doses*
4 years and older
IM = intramuscular, SC = subcutaneous, ID = intradermal, LAV = Live Attenuated Vaccine (marked in red - consider pregnancy, and dosing interactions)
Vaccine preventable diseases are endemic and/or epidemic in countries of origin of refugee families, and disruptions to health care may affect vaccine quality and access to immunisation. Information on vaccination coverage and disease status in country of origin is available from the
WHO website, including
immunisation schedules by country. See the
Australian Immunisation Handbook for specific information on catch up vaccination, and the
Australian immunisation schedule. Information is also available on
recent clinical updates.
From 2016, there have been significant changes in immunisation policy related to the federal 'No Jab, No Pay' legislation (see
Department of Health information, and
). Children and young people (<20 years) need to be up to date for their immunisations
be on a vaccine catch-up schedule OR have a medical exemption to be eligible to
receive certain family assistance payments from Centrelink (Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit Part A-end of year supplement).
uses the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to establish whether vaccinations are up to date (by antigen). The
vaccines that are linked to family assistance payments are: DTPa/dTpa, IPV, MMR
and hepatitis B. When the first dose of vaccines covering all the overdue antigens
is entered into AIR, the child is recorded as being up to date until the next
set of vaccines becomes overdue (usually 3 months later). Medical exemptions
(i.e. for immunity) on AIR are also factored into establishing whether
vaccinations are up to date.
All children and young people (<20 years of age)
need an assessment of their immunisation status to: clarify their immunisation
history, enter information into AIR if it has not been recorded, and provide
catch-up vaccines if needed. AIR information will need updating or
families will lose these Centrelink payments.
In Victoria, the state 'No Jab, No Play' legislation has also been introduced, where children need to be up to date with vaccinations or have commenced an immunisation catch-up plan to enrol in childcare or kindergarten. Children who arrived in Australia as a refugee
or asylum seeker are eligible for a 16-week grace period to start catch-up
vaccinations after they enrol in childcare. See
further information, and
resources for early childhood services.
No-one arriving as a refugee or asylum seeker will be vaccinated and up to date according to the Australian immunisation schedule, due to differences in
country of origin schedules and/or issues with health service access.
Refugees and asylum seekers should be vaccinated so they are up to date according to the Australian immunisation schedule; equivalent to an Australian-born person of the same age.
For families outside the initial stage of settlement - remind them to plan early for travel immunisations. Many families subsequently travel and may be at increased risk when visiting friends/relatives in their area of origin.
The current National Immunisation Program Schedule in Victoria for secondary students includes:
Vaccines for refugees/asylum seekers are supplied though several government immunisation initiatives:
Age appropriate at the time a vaccine was available: (the following list has been compiled based on vaccine programs in Victoria, and calculates the birth year for Victorian-born people accessing the relevant recent programs)
Immigrant health clinic resources. Initial: Georgie Paxton and Jim Buttery. Revisions: Georgie Paxton. Updated Mar 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org