Year 7 students

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Important information about the Year 7 Human Papillomavirus High School Immunisation Program

From February 2023, the dosing schedule for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will change to a single dose and eligibility for the catch-up program will be extended to 25 years of age under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Read more about the Year 7 HPV High School Immunisation Program.

Year 7 students are offered free vaccines at their school that will protect them against four diseases:

The Canberra Health Services’ Child and Adolescent Immunisation Team will visit Year 7 students during the school year. Keep an eye out for the consent card which gets sent out at the start of Term 1. Find, sign and return it to the school – even if you do not consent for your child to receive these vaccines at school. Parent or guardian consent is required for Year 7 school vaccinations. If you can’t find the consent card, ask your school for another one or download the Year 7 consent card. If you are printing the consent card, please print it on both sides (one piece of paper) and provide this to your school, rather than scanning it. Please read the information on the consent card carefully before you sign. Please complete and return a consent card even if you do not consent for your teen to receive these vaccines at school.

Questions: Year 7 vaccinations

Why should I vaccinate my child?

Vaccines save lives. Vaccines prevent serious illness, disability and death. Getting vaccinated will keep you, your family and our community healthy by reducing the spread of vaccine preventable diseases. Even healthy people get sick. The simplest, safest and most effective way to prevent some diseases is to get vaccinated. We advise the community to vaccinate on time to receive the best most benefit from vaccination – delaying can leave your child at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.

I forgot to return the consent card on time. Is it too late to get my child vaccinated at school?

No. Please contact the Child and Adolescent Immunisation Team on 02 5124 1585 and they will provide you with your options. 

Are vaccines safe?

Research and testing is an essential part of developing safe and effective vaccines.

In Australia, vaccines must pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register them for use. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years. Before vaccines become available to the public, clinical trials test them on thousands of people. For more information on vaccine safety, refer to the Department of Health’s ‘How are vaccines shown to be safe?’ factsheet.

Will my child experience any side effects?

Like all medications, vaccines can cause side effects. Your child may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common reactions to vaccination include:

  • pain, redness and/or swelling and/or hardness where your child received the needle
  • mild fever

After having the HPV vaccine your child could also feel tired or have body aches.

Serious reactions like allergic reactions are extremely rare. If your child reacts in an unexpected way, seek medical advice straight away.

If you have any concerns about potential side effects of vaccines, complete the Immunisation Adverse Event Reporting Form (online form) or talk to the Immunisation Information Line on 02 5124 9800.

More information on the possible side effects of these vaccines is available in the Department of Health Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Do you have some tips on how to prepare a nervous or anxious child?

There are a few things you can do to help reduce your child's fear and anxiety:

  • discuss with them what the vaccines are for and how it protects them
  • tell them when they’ll get vaccinated so they can prepare themselves
  • practice positive self-talk- "I can do this"
  • call the Child and Adolescent Immunisation Team on 02 5124 1585 prior to the vaccination day to discuss your concerns with a nurse
  • tell your child to visit the nurses and have it done first – the less they wait, the better
  • if they’re still 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 and carers are not able to be with their child in the recovery area

On the day of immunisations, make sure your child eats breakfast and drinks plenty of water. Ensure they wear loose fitting clothing, especially around the arms and shoulders to make it easier for the nurses to vaccinate them. For information about the date your child will be vaccinated, contact your school.

For more tips, visit our resources page.

What if my child missed their vaccination at school?

If your child missed their vaccination at school, you will receive a letter via My Digital Health Record (MyDHR) or through the post advising of the missed dose. This letter will only be sent if you returned a signed immunisation consent card to your child’s school previously. Your child can receive their missed vaccine(s) from your family doctor or participating pharmacist.  Whilst the vaccine is government funded, your doctor or pharmacist may charge a consultation/administration fee.

Where can I access my child’s vaccination history?

From 2018, your child’s vaccination history is available through a MyGov account.

Before 2018:

  • If they were vaccinated at school between 2007 to 2017, their record is in the process of being uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), which can be accessed through your MyGov account. Please be patient as this may take some time. If you require the record urgently, please call the School Immunisation Program on 5124 1585 for assistance.
  • If they were vaccinated at school between 2003 to 2006, their records are available but are not currently reflected on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Please call the High School Immunisation Program on 5124 1585 for assistance.
  • If they were vaccinated at school before 2003, we no longer have these records due to the 2003 Canberra bushfires. If you retained a physical record of the immunisation, you are able to ask your family doctor or other immunisation provider to add this to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
My child is home-schooled. Are they eligible?

Children who are home-schooled can access the government funded vaccines through their family doctor or participating pharmacist (a consultation/administration fee may apply).

What if I have returned a consent card and signed ‘yes’ but I no longer want my child to receive these vaccines at school?

You can withdraw consent at any time. Please call the Child and Adolescent Immunisation Team on 02 5124 1585 to speak to a Registered Nurse to withdraw your consent to the school program.

Can I have other vaccines when I have had a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines can be given on the same day or within days of each other. Routine vaccines can be given to anyone who has recently being vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and vice-versa if they are well on the day of vaccination and have no contraindications to the vaccines.

More information can be found at: Clinical recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines | Australian Government Department of Health considerations for special populations: Timing of administration of other vaccines.

Page last updated on: 10 Jan 2024