Free vaccine in 2018 for 16-19 year olds to protect against meningococcal disease
In December 2017, the ACT government announced funding of a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for Year 10 students and a catch-up program for those aged 16 to 19 years. The catch-up program is available in 2018 only.
Adolescents aged 16 to 19 years can receive the vaccine as a catch-up dose through their GPs.
Meningococcal disease is an uncommon but serious disease and adolescents are at increased risk. In recent years, rates of invasive meningococcal disease caused by meningococcal W and meningococcal Y strains have increased across Australia.
The ACT Government is taking proactive action to protect adolescents and the community from meningococcal disease by recommending immunisation against meningococcal A, C, W and Y strains.
- FAQs for the meningococcal catch-up program
- Meningococcal disease fact sheet
- Q&As for General Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Immunisation Providers
High School Immunisation Program
Schools Health Team
The School Health Immunisation team of nurses offers age appropriate vaccinations at your child's school at a prearranged date and time
Information is sent home to you via your child's school. Consent is required prior to vaccination. Further information is available by contacting the High School Immunisation Program or School Health Administrator on (02) 6205 2086
What diseases is my child being protected against in year 7?
HPV vaccine (Gardasil®9) – new Australian Government Department of Health resources for consumers
HPV consumer resources, including a fact sheet and a student video (below), developed by Sharing Knowledge about Immunisation (SKAI) in partnership with the Department of Health and NCIRS, are now available on the Department of Health website.
HPV vaccine has been offered to year 7 girls since 2007 and boys since 2013. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that affects both women and men. HPV vaccination requires a course of 2 injections over the school year to develop the immune response.
The benefits of extending the program to include males are:
- Reduction in incidence of genital warts in males
- Potential reduction in incidence of certain cancers in males;
- Increasing the protective factors for non-immune females by a general increase in herd immunity and the flow on reduction in circulating virus
Meningococcal ACWY school vaccination program for year 10's
ACT is implementing a meningococcal ACWY school-based vaccination program targeting Year 10 students in high schools from term 1 2018.
Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection which can become life-threatening very quickly. Adolescents are at increased risk of meningococcal disease.
The School Health Team will visit Year 10 high school students from term 1 2018 and provide them with the vaccine which protects against the meningococcal A, C, W and Y strains.
A catch-up program is also available for people aged between 16 to 19 years old and can be accessed through their GP during 2018.
This program has been initiated in response to increasing cases of meningococcal W. Evidence suggests that this strain of the disease is more severe than other types.
- Meningococcal ACWY school vaccination program Fact Sheet
- FAQs for the meningococcal ACWY school vaccination program
- Meningococcal disease fact sheet
What immunisation does my child need and when?
Pre Immunisation Information
- “Jabbed” Documentary
- Find Your Language
- Year 7 consent card 2018
- Year 10 consent card 2018
If using a printed copy of this document for consent it MUST be printed in colour. Black and white copies will not be accepted. Photocopies or faxed copies of signed consents cannot be accepted.
Where do I get a copy of my child's immunisation records?
- Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Register
- Schools Team Administrator on (02) 6205 2086
All students are given a vaccine record on the day they receive the vaccine. Please keep this record in a safe place for future reference. Your child’s Personal Health Record (PHR) (‘Blue Book in the ACT, other colours in other states) is a good place to store this record and it keeps their vaccination history in one place. Other vaccines your child receives, for example when traveling, can also be documented for future reference.
Adults or Parents of children under 18 can obtain a copy of their or their child’s immunisation records by filling out one of the below forms.
Please print and complete one of the forms and send back to the School Health Team using the details provided. (No electronic signatures please)
Forms need to be printed, completed in black pen, signed and returned by email to: CentralASO@act.gov.au or if unable to return this form by email please fax or post to:
Division of Women, Youth, Children Community Health Programs
School Health Team
GPO Box 825
Canberra ACT 2601
Fax: 02-6205 1591
Phone: 02-6205 2086
Medical Practices requesting information for clients School Immunisation Record
Please ask consent from parent/client for this request, and then contact School Health Team on 02-6205 2086. Please note only a verbal record will be given. If a hard copy is required please ask the Parent/Client to follow the above process.
Vaccination information for home schooled children
How do I care for my child after their immunisation?
All vaccines used in Australia undergo extensive research and must be approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Before a vaccine can be licensed, it is tested over several years to ensure it is safe and that it works.
However, if you, your child or a client experience an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI), please complete the Immunisation Adverse Event Reporting Form or call the immunisation unit on (02) 6205 2300.
What if my child is feeling anxious about their immunisation?
Tips for anxious students
Here are a few things that parents can do to help reduce your child's fear, anxiety and stress about getting their immunisations.
- Discuss with your child what the vaccines are for- explain the diseases that the vaccines help protect them from
- Inform your child when the immunisations will occur at their school so they can prepare themselves
- Practice positive self-talk- "I can do this"
On the day of immunisations...
- Eat a substantial breakfast and drink plenty of water
- Come and see the nurses first thing and have the immunisations done first- the less waiting the better
- Wear loose-fitting clothing- especially around the arms and shoulders- this makes it much easier to access the site of immunisation.
- If your child is very anxious, you can come into the school and be with your child while they have their immunisation. For the privacy of the other students parents are not able to be with them in the recovery area.
What if I’m notified my child missed a dose?
If you have returned your child’s consent form and signed ‘yes’ to any vaccines and they miss a dose/s, a letter will be sent to your postal address at the end of the year outlining which doses/s they still require. Letters will not be sent to those who have not returned a form or who have returned a ‘no’ consent for all vaccines.
- if a student misses a dose of the 3 doses HPV vaccine only, they can receive the missed dose in the next round of immunisations at their school.
- When you receive the missed dose letter, please take it to your GP to complete the course of vaccination to ensure effective immunity.
- Please advise the practice of the vaccine you require at the time of booking your appointment; this ensures the vaccine can be ordered and ready for you.
You DO NOT require a prescription.
- While the vaccine remains free, your GP may charge a consultation fee.
- Vaccines given in the School Based Immunisation Program are free for students in year 7.
- Students need to complete missed doses within the following twelve months to remain eligible for the free vaccine.
This information applies to vaccines supplied by the ACT Health Directorate, if your child has come from or going to interstate please make enquires to Health Protection Service, Immunisation Unit (02) 6205 2300 in relation to completing the required immunisation courses.
Visit your General Practitioner (GP)
or visit Find a Health Service