Free vaccine for 16-19 years to protect against meningococcal disease in 2018
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.
Free Shingles (Herpes Zoster) vaccine for 70-79 year olds
- A Free vaccine to protect against shingles is available for everyone aged 70-79 years under the National Immunisation Program.
- The vaccine is free for 70 year olds as on ongoing program.
- 71-79 year olds are also eligible for a free shingles vaccine until 2021 as part of a catch up program.
- Shingles is a painful and debilitating skin rash, often with blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts for two to four weeks. Persistent pain from shingles lesions, called post herpetic neuralgia, can be very severe and can last a year or more.
- Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates later in life. If you have had chickenpox you could develop shingles. 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime. It occurs more frequently and tends to be more severe in older people.
- If you are aged 70 – 79 talk to your GP to see if you should receive this vaccine. A few people may be unable to have the vaccine. The vaccine does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get the shingles.
What’s New to Immunisation?
No Jab No Pay
- From 1 January 2016 only parents of children and adolescents (up to 20 years of age) who are fully immunised or on a recognised catch up schedule can receive Child Care Benefits, Child Care Rebates or the Family Tax Benefit Part A.
- The relevant vaccinations required to be considered fully immunised are those under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), and are the vaccines usually given before five years of age.
- Objection to vaccination on non-medical grounds will not be considered a valid exemption.
- Children with medical contraindications or natural immunity will continue to be exempt from the requirements.
- If your child has missed some vaccines, talk to your GP to arrange catch up vaccinations
- Vaccines will be funded by the Australian Government. However, general practices may charge a consultation fee.
- The practice may need to order the required vaccines for your child.
For further information
- If you wish to find out your child’s immunisation history please ring the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 or through your myGov account
- For information about these changes visit Strengthening Immunisation for Young Children
- For information about family payments visit Immunising your children or Immunisation Related Payments for Parents
- Information on vaccinations can be obtained from Immunise Australia website
Immunisation Bulletin Board
Schools Health Team
Year 7 high school students in the ACT are offered free vaccinations as part of the national school immunisation program. The School Health Team offer these vaccines at a pre arranged date and time. Parental consent is obtained at the beginning of the school year, so keep your eyes out for the vaccination consent card during the first week of school term! This will come home with your year 7 student. Letters regarding any missed doses are mailed to parents towards the end of the school year. Parents can then follow up with their GP to ensure their child is fully vaccinated.
Maternal and Child Health
Immunisation is available by appointment at Child Immunisation Clinics across the ACT for children under 7 years of age. Below is link showing locations and days Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Immunise.
Appointments can be made by phoning Community Health Intake on (02) 6207 9977 between 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 3:30pm Wednesdays (excluding public holidays). Remember to cancel your appointment with MACH if you can’t make it.
Children must be accompanied by their parents / guardian to receive their immunisation from Child Immunisation Clinics. Please don't forget your child's Personal Health Record (PHR - Blue Book ) Your child's Personal Health Record has a vaccination card located at the back of the book where the MACH nurse or GP can record all the vaccinations your child receives. Immunisation records for children aged less than seven (7) years old are sent directly to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR).
Clients who require information about their child's immunisation history, can contact ACIR on 1800 653 809 or via the ACIR website
If you are concerned your child is too unwell to immunise you can call (02) 6207 9977 between 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 3:30pm Wednesdays (excluding public holidays) for advice.