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
From 1 July 2020 there are changes to the immunisation schedule. 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.
Extensive resources to assist you 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.
From 1 July 2020 there are changes to the timing, type and number of pneumococcal vaccines given under the NIP. These apply to the following groups:
- children and adults with conditions that increase their risk of pneumococcal disease
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
- all non-Indigenous people aged 70 years and older.
The list of conditions associated with an increased risk of pneumococcal disease has been updated. There is now a single list of risk conditions for funded NIP pneumococcal vaccination.
For further details go to the Australian Immunisation Handbook
From 1 July 2020, recommendations for meningococcal vaccines have changed to make meningococcal vaccines more readily available and give extra protection to people who are most at risk of invasive meningococcal disease. Recommendations for the use of meningococcal vaccines, including scheduling and dose requirements, remain unchanged. However, some of the recommended vaccine doses are now funded under the NIP. For further information refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook
Meningococcal B (Bexsero®) and meningococcal ACWY (Nimenrix®) vaccines are funded for people of all ages with medical conditions associated with the highest risk of invasive meningococcal disease, namely; asplenia and hyposplenia, complement deficiency and those receiving treatment with eculizumab. People with ongoing increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease due to these specified medical conditions are also eligible for NIP-funded booster doses of MenACWY vaccine as recommended in the Australian Immunisation Handbook. Also, refer to the ATAGI clinical advice on changes to recommendations for the use and funding of meningococcal vaccines from 1 July 2020
From 1 July 2020 the meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero®) are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. An additional dose at 6 months of age is required for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants with specified medical conditions
A catch-up program is also available until June 2023 (up to 23 months) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under 2 years of age. These children can receive Bexsero® at the same time as other vaccines currently included on the NIP schedule.
Meningococcal B vaccine is also available under the NIP for any individual with a medical condition associated with an increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease.
Under the NIP, the meningococcal ACWY vaccine is provided for free to:
- children at 12 months of age
- year 10 students through the School Immunisation Program
- young adults aged 15 to 19 years through their doctor or immunisation provider.
From 1 July 2020, meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Nimenrix®) is funded under the NIP for people of all ages with certain medical conditions that increase their risk of invasive meningococcal disease.
Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib)
Under the NIP Hib is provided as a routine vaccination for
- infants at 18 months of age
- as of 1 July 2020, Hib vaccine, ActHIB®, is now funded under the NIP for adults and children >5 years of age with asplenia and hyposplenia.
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
Other important immunisation programs
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 Influenza Immunisation Program in Queensland, which includes distributing influenza vaccine to over 1,800 Queensland vaccine service providers. These providers administer free flu vaccine to 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.
COVID 19 and Influenza
There are currently no vaccines that protect against COVID-19.
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 and influenza 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.
National Shingles Vaccination Program
The National Shingles Vaccination Program provides a shingles vaccination for adults 70 years of age, with a single catch-up dose funded for adults aged 71 to 79 years until 2021.
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