Immunisation Schedule Queensland
The Immunisation Schedule Queensland – July 2020 (current to date), details the eligibility for National Immunisation Program (NIP) funded vaccines and state-funded vaccines.
Changes to the Immunisation Schedule
As of 1 July 2020 several changes were made to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule. The changes were implemented in 2020 following recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and other clinical experts. The changes are designed to improve protection against meningococcal and pneumococcal disease, as well as Haemophilus influenzae type b. In order to accommodate these changes, there are also changes to the hepatitis A vaccination schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Eligibility for some vaccines, such as Meningococcal B or pneumococcal, depend on the recipient having certain medical conditions which place them at greater risk of acquiring a disease. For further information go to the ATAGI clinical advice on vaccine recommendations for people with risk conditions from 1 July 2020 or the Australian Immunisation Handbook
Resources and reference material can be found at Clinical Update: National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule changes from 1 July 2020 – advice for vaccination providers Australian Government Department of Health.
Other important immunisation programs
Experts around the globe are working on the creation and distribution of vaccines and treatments for the virus. Several countries have implemented their vaccination programs using different vaccines.
The Australian Government is in charge of selecting, buying and regulating COVID-19 vaccines and the Queensland Government is in charge of delivering the vaccine across the state.
The Australian Government and Queensland Government provide extensive information about COVID-19 including the different types of vaccines approved for use in Australia, how they are approved, the science behind how the vaccines work, vaccine safety, the national COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy and the priority groups to receive the vaccine.
Annual influenza program
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over. Queensland Health coordinates the implementation of the National Immunisation Program for influenza in Queensland, which includes distributing influenza vaccine to over 1,800 Queensland vaccine service providers. These providers administer free flu vaccine to all eligible groups. For further details on this program visit the Queensland Health Influenza Vaccination Guidelines
You can also visit the Australian Immunisation Handbook for further information about influenza vaccinations.
Whilst influenza vaccine will not prevent coronavirus infection it can reduce the severity and spread of influenza, which may make a person more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses like coronavirus
Whooping cough, influenza and COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women
Whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women is offered as part of the NIP. Vaccination is recommended with each pregnancy to provide maximum protection for newborn babies. This includes pregnancies which are close together (e.g. less than 2 years).
The online Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends vaccination of pregnant women (between 20 and 32 weeks).
Pregnant women should also ensure they are vaccinated for influenza (flu), which can safely be given at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine. For the best protection against flu pregnant women who receive an influenza vaccine late in the influenza season should be re-vaccinated if the next season's vaccine becomes available before the end of their pregnancy. However, they must wait until week 20 of their pregnancy to receive the whooping cough vaccine. Women should not delay receiving the influenza vaccine so they can have it at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine.
As part of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has developed advice for health care providers on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia in 2021. If you are pregnant or likely to become pregnant in the near future, ask your doctor for advice and in the meantime go to COVID-19 vaccines: everything you need to know
National Shingles Vaccination Program
The National Shingles Vaccination Program provides a free shingles vaccination to all people aged 70 years old, with a five-year catch up program for people aged 71 to 79 years old until 31 October 2021.
Please be aware that the shingles vaccine is not suitable for everyone. It should not be used with people who have an immune system which is weakened by certain medical conditions or medicines as there is a risk of infection with the vaccine virus, which can have serious life-threatening outcomes. You are encouraged to talk to your GP about the shingles vaccine to see if it is appropriate for you.
Hepatitis B vaccine is funded for the groups listed under the NIP including:
- low-birth weight preterm newborn infants (less than 2,000g) and/or infants born at less than 32 weeks gestation (irrespective of weight), should also receive a booster of a hepatitis B-containing vaccine at 12 months of age
- hepatitis B vaccine is also funded for the following groups, if non-immune/not previously vaccinated:
- household or other close (household-like) contacts of people with hepatitis B
- sexual contacts of people with hepatitis B
- migrants (who have a Medicare card) from hepatitis B endemic countries
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with chronic liver disease and/or hepatitis C
- people who inject drugs.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended (but not funded) for other individuals who may be at risk of hepatitis B. Refer to the online Australian Immunisation Handbook for further details.
Catch-up vaccines for all children and adolescents up to 19 years
Catch-up immunisations aim to provide optimal protection against disease as quickly as possible by completing the vaccinations recommended for a person.
Immunisation providers should actively review a patient's vaccination history on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and give the appropriate catch-up vaccines as recommended in the online edition of The Australian Immunisation Handbook. An appropriate catch-up schedule cannot be administered without first checking a person’s vaccination history.
If a person has not received all the vaccines in the Immunisation Schedule Queensland appropriate for their age, plan and document a catch-up schedule for them.
National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator
A National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator (NICC) for children up to 10 years of age has been released by the Australian Government Department of Health.
Immunisation providers and parents are able to input key information such as the following to determine the catch-up vaccination schedule required:
- name, address and date of birth
- indigenous status
- past vaccination history, by either antigen or vaccine names.
The catch-up calculation output can be printed in hard copy.
The NICC has been developed by the Australian Government Department of Health to replace the current immunisation calculator hosted on the South Australian Department of Health website.
National Immunisation Program schedule changes will be incorporated into the calculator. Future releases of the NICC will focus on expanding to people over the age of 10.
- Registration and qualifications for the administration of vaccines
- Vaccine service provider information
- School Immunisation Program
- Healthcare worker vaccinations
- Immunisation contacts
- Whooping cough (pertussis) and influenza vaccination for pregnant women
- Age of Consent for Vaccinations
- Queensland Health COVID-19