Summary

  • Immunisations in Victoria are provided by: local councils, some GPs and specially qualified nurses in medical clinics and community health services, some Maternal and Child Health nurses, travel clinics and some pharmacists and hospitals.
  • What immunisations you need and who delivers them depends on your health, age, lifestyle and occupation.

Who provides what vaccines and when?

People need immunisation in lots of different situations. Which vaccines you need depends on your health, age, lifestyle and occupation (HALO). Who delivers the vaccines can also vary depending on why you need the vaccination. 

See Table 1 for:

  • some common prompts (reasons) for vaccination
  • who is most likely to provide the vaccine
  • how much it is likely to cost 
  • who is responsible for keeping a record of the immunisation being given. 

Table 1 Prompts for vaccinations, and who provides them

Prompt for vaccination

Service provider

Cost

Records

Birth

When a baby is born in a Victorian hospital they are given a vaccination by the hospital

  • Maternity hospitals

 

Free in hospital

The hospital records this vaccine in your baby’s My Health and Development Record booklet.

 

2, 4, 6 months,
12 months, 18 months and 4 years

Vaccines on the National Immunisation Program are provided free to children at these ages.

  • Local council immunisation nurses at community immunisation sessions
  • GPs and practice nurses in medical and community health centres
  • Some Maternal and Child Health nurses

Parents can choose which provider to attend.

Free from local councils

GP – a consultation fee may be charged unless vaccine is given at a bulk billing medical centre

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) by the service provider.

A record is also documented by the service provider.

A copy is given to the parent/carer, usually in the My Health Learning and Development Record booklet.

Young people in secondary school

Vaccines on the National Immunisation Program are provided free to adolescents at secondary school.

  • Local council where each school is located – these vaccines are delivered at school by immunisation nurses employed by local councils.
  • GPs and practice nurses in medical and community health centres – if an adolescent misses a vaccine given at school or prefers to receive the vaccine from their GP. (A consultation fee may apply).

 

Free from local councils

GP – a consultation fee may be charged unless vaccine is given at a bulk billing medical centre

A record of these vaccinations is held by local councils until a person is 25 years of age.

These vaccinations are also reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

Flu season

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Some local council community immunisation sessions
  • Pharmacist – some pharmacists in Victoria are licensed to provide flu vaccine to adults

 

The service may charge you for the cost of the vaccine unless you are eligible for a free flu vaccine.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Family member or friend is pregnant

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Some local council community immunisation sessions.
  • Pharmacist – some pharmacists in Victoria are licensed to provide flu vaccine to adults.

 

 

The whooping cough and influenza vaccine is free but the service may charge a consultation fee.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

During pregnancy

Whooping cough and influenza vaccine is recommended for pregnant women

  • Hospital maternal service
  • GP providing ‘Shared Care’ service
  • Some obstetric services for pregnant women

 

Free in public hospitals

A fee may be charged by other service providers

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Working in a high risk occupation

  • The workplace
  • GP/medical clinic

 

Some employers cover the cost of some vaccines. Some people working in high risk occupations may choose to pay for vaccinations.

A consultation fee may also be charged by a GP or medical clinic in addition to the cost of purchasing the vaccines.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Prior to travel to some countries

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Travel vaccination clinic
  • Yellow fever vaccine accredited medical centres

 

Travel vaccines range in cost. A consultation fee may also be charged in addition to the cost of purchasing the vaccines.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Recently arrived in Victoria from interstate or overseas

  • Local council
  • GP/medical clinic

 

Refugees, Humanitarian Entrants and Asylum Seekers can access free vaccines.

All children and young people under 20 years of age can have free vaccines. Adults need to purchase vaccines on prescription from the GP.

Children’s records need to be provided by the immuniser to the Australian Immunisation Register.

If an adult is vaccinated in Australia, the vaccine record is reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Health conditions

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Local council community immunisation sessions
  • Pharmacist
  • Children’s hospital services for their in-patients and out-patients

Some vaccines are free depending on your age and health condition. Otherwise the vaccines are purchased on prescription from your GP.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

50 years of age

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Aboriginal Health Services

 

Some vaccines are free depending on your age or Aboriginal identification or health condition. Otherwise the vaccines are purchased on prescription from your GP.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

70–79 years of age

Vaccines on the National Immunisation Program are provided free to people who are 70–79 years of age.

  • GP/medical clinic

 

Some vaccines are free depending on your age or health condition. Otherwise the vaccines are purchased on prescription from your GP.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • GP/medical clinic
  • Aboriginal health service
  • Local council community immunisation sessions
  • Pharmacist
  • Children’s hospital services for their in-patients and out-patients

 

Some vaccines are free depending on your age or Aboriginal identification or health condition. Otherwise the vaccines are purchased on prescription from your GP.

These vaccinations are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register by the service provider.

You must keep your own record.

Immunisations provided by local councils

In Victoria, local councils play a large role in providing immunisation services. They:

  • hold free immunisation sessions for the community (these are popular with families of babies and children)
  • provide free immunisations to adolescents at all secondary schools in the local council area 
  • provide immunisation services for recently arrived refugees.

Immunisations provided by GPs and medical clinics

GPs or nurses employed at medical clinics deliver a range of immunisation services, including giving immunisations that are provided on the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

Immunisations provided in hospital

Public hospitals in Victoria provide free vaccines on an as-needs basis if they are recommended or required for a person with a medical condition. Maternity services also provide immunisations for pregnant women and after pregnancy. Immunisations can also be provided by private hospitals.

The Royal Children’s hospital and Monash Medical Centre provide immunisation services for their in-patients and out-patients in the hospital. These services also provide specialist immunisation advice for:

  • families worried about the safety of a vaccine for their child 
  • people who have experienced a vaccine adverse event following vaccination.

Immunisations provided by travel vaccine clinics

Travel vaccination is a specialist area that can require specially trained doctors to determine what vaccines are needed, and to provide them. Some GPs can also provide travel vaccinations. Some vaccinations (such as those for yellow fever) are only provided by specific, accredited clinics. 

Immunisations provided by pharmacists

Some specially qualified pharmacist immunisers can provide vaccines for:

  • influenza (flu)
  • pertussis (whooping cough) 
  • measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). 

These vaccines can be free to eligible people.

If you are not eligible for a free vaccine, you can also pay for the vaccine and have it given to you at the pharmacy.

Other services providing immunisations

Some other services and health professionals that can provide immunisations include:

  • community health services
  • Aboriginal health services
  • some Maternal and Child Health centres
  • some obstetric services for pregnant women.

Where to get help

Reference

More information

Immunisation

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Immunisation basics

Timing and schedules

Immunisation throughout life

A-Z of immunisations and vaccines

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services - RHP&R - Health Protection - Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit

Last updated: December 2019

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