Children need a certificate when they enrol in primary school that shows whether or not they have been immunised against a range of diseases. This is a legal requirement for primary school enrolment. You can use the history statement provided by the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) or a letter issued by your local council or doctor. A council or doctor needs to see all original immunisation records before they can issue a letter.
Opportunity to catch up missed immunisations
Obtaining an immunisation status certificate is an excellent time to check your child's immunisation records are up to date. Measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B, meningococcal C disease, chickenpox and polio are life-threatening diseases that children can catch and spread.
Your child should have received vaccines to protect against all these diseases before starting school. Your local council or doctor can immunise your child to catch up any missed vaccine doses.
Your child's immunisation record
Immunisation status certificates include your child's name, date of birth, address and the name and the date of all vaccines your child has received. It is a legal requirement to provide an immunisation status certificate when you enrol your child in primary school in Victoria.
In the event of a parent who is a vaccine refuser and their child has not received vaccines, the child will still require a status certificate with their name, date of birth and address, stating that the child is unimmunised.
Homeopathic immunisation is not a recognised form of immunisation and is not acceptable under the legislation. Therefore, it cannot be listed on an immunisation status certificate.
Essential information for schools
The school principal and health authorities need to know whether or not your child has been immunised. This information will help health authorities to protect children if there is a case or an outbreak of infectious disease at the school, for which children can be vaccinated.
Children who have not been immunised, or whose immunisation status is unknown because a status certificate has not been given to the school, may be excluded from the school in the event of an outbreak.
Obtaining a certificate from the AIR
You will automatically receive a history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) when your child turns five years old. However, you can request a certificate at any time.
If your child has completed all immunisations, but you have not received a history statement, or if you have lost your child's history statement, contact AIR:
Make sure that AIR has your current address details so that you receive your child's history statement. If you are moving, or have recently moved, contact them to update your contact details.
Give the status certificate to your school
When you enrol your child in school, you will need to give the staff your child's immunisation status certificate.
Immunisation and HALO
The immunisations you may need are decided by your health, age, lifestyle and occupation. Together, these factors are referred to as HALO. You can check your immunisation HALO using the Immunisation for Life infographic (pdf) downloadable poster.
Where to get help
- The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Tel. 1800 653 809
- Your local council
- Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, Immunisation Section, Tel. 1300 882 008
- National Immunisation Infoline Tel. 1800 671 811
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
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.