Vaccinations are encouraged for all individuals living in the state of Victoria, Australia. The immunisation program in Victoria may be different than other countries, and individuals who have moved to Victoria from overseas may need catch-up immunisations. Learn about how immunisations are managed in Australia through the National Immunisation Program Schedule and the Australian Immunisation Register. Vaccinations are required for young children and are also given to children at school. Adults should also have vaccinations depending on their health, age, lifestyle or occupation. Learn more about how the immunisation system works and where you can go to find out more.
Vaccinations in Victoria is available in multiple languages including Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Dari, Hazaragi, Nepalese, Persian, Sinhalese, Tamil and Urdu.
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This presentation is designed to give you an understanding of vaccination requirements in the state of Victoria, Australia.
In Australia, vaccines are given in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
These vaccines are free to most people living in Victoria.
To protect everyone from dangerous infectious diseases, all people living in Australia are encouraged to be vaccinated according to the Australian Immunisation Schedule.
This is also called the National Immunisation Program Schedule. The vaccines on the National Immunisation Program Schedule are often different to vaccines offered in other countries.
Even if you have had vaccines before you came to Australia, you will likely need other catchup vaccines.
You should be familiar with the Australian Immunisation Program Schedule, and make sure you and all your family members have received all the required vaccines to protect yourselves and your communities.
In Australia, immunisations are given by either a doctor or a specifically qualified nurse called a nurse immuniser.
Nurse immunisers are employed through local councils and at medical centres.
You need to keep a record of which vaccinations have been received by yourself or children in your care, and take this with you when seeing a doctor or immunisation nurse.
You should also bring a record of any vaccines you may have had previously. If you do not have these records, ask a community support person for assistance.
Vaccinations in Victoria for babies and children
In Australia, children receive vaccines at several points between birth and the age of four.
Some children may need to get catchup vaccines to bring their immunisations in line with the Australian schedule.
All children’s vaccinations are recorded by the government on a register. This is called the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register or the Australian Immunisation Register.
You may see this referred to ACIR or AIR.
To enrol in childcare or kindergarten in Victoria, you’ll need to provide a statement from the Immunisation Register that shows your child’s vaccines are fully up-to-date for their age.
The statement from the register showing your child’s immunisation history must also be given to the primary school where you enrol your child.
You may also need this statement (Immunisation History Statement) to obtain some government family payments (Centrelink).
To obtain this statement, telephone the Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809. You can use an interpreter by calling 131 450.
Vaccinations in Victoria for adolescents
Certain vaccines are recommended for adolescents on the Australian Immunisation Schedule.
The protection provided by some childhood vaccines, needs to be boosted in adolescents, and some vaccines are specifically recommended in adolescence.
Even if your child has had catchup vaccines since they arrived in Australia, it is important they also receive these vaccines at school.
These vaccines are usually given to adolescents at secondary school by immunisation nurses employed by local councils.
Your child should bring home an Immunisation Consent booklet which you must complete and return to your children’s secondary school.
The consent booklets are also available in a range of languages. You can ask the local council for a version in your language, if one is not provided to you.
Vaccinations in Victoria for adults
There are some vaccines recommended and provided for free to adults.
This includes vaccines given to most women during pregnancy, and to older people.
The vaccines given during pregnancy protect the woman and the unborn child from diseases, which are particularly dangerous during pregnancy, and the first few months of the baby’s life.
As we get older, our bodies defences don’t work as well, and we become more vulnerable to some diseases.
Immunisations provide protection for older people from these diseases.
Talk to your doctor to decide if you need vaccines.
To view the National Immunisation Schedule Program, go to <www.health.vic.gov.au/immunisation>.
If you have questions or concerns about immunisation, talk to your doctor or call your local council, and ask to speak with the immunisation nurse.
You can find your local council by www.knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au
You can use the telephone translator service to speak with the council staff by calling 131 450.
Victoria is one of the safest places in the world when it comes to infectious diseases.
One of the main reasons for this is because Australia has one of the best immunisation rates in the world.
Immunisation – it’s for all of us.