The objective of catch-up vaccination is to encourage individuals to complete a course of vaccination and provide optimal protection against disease as quickly as possible.
Immunisation providers should take every opportunity to review an individual's vaccination history on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and, based on documentation, administer the appropriate vaccine/s. If the individual has not received vaccine/s scheduled in the National Immunisation Program Schedule appropriate for their age, the immunisation provider should discuss this with the individual and plan and document a catch-up schedule.
Planning a catch-up schedule
Immunisation providers should assess a person's vaccination status based on the person's history, check their history on AIR and use the current immunisation schedule. The Australian Immunisation Handbook contains information and advice about planning a catch-up schedule.
If you still need assistance, contact your local public health unit for advice.
Child and adolescent catch-up vaccinations
Unless otherwise specified, funded vaccines will be provided for catch-up before the child turns 20 years of age.
'Catch-up' can be recorded on a child's or adolescent's AIR record only once. There is now a limit of 6 months in place for a catch-up to be completed.
If the child or adolescent' immunisation history statement does not become 'up-to-date' within this timeframe, family assistance payments that are linked to immunisation may be affected.
For Australian Government information on immunisation requirements for family assistance payment visit the Department of Human Services
Immunisation providers can report 'catch up' to AIR by:
- Locating the child or adolescent's record on AIR and ticking the 'planned catch-up' box
- Using the secure email function on AIR to notify that a child is on 'catch-up'. For help using this method, see Factsheet 7 – How to use AIR's secure email
- Using the AIR history form and fax or email to the address on the form.
If Year 7 students miss having funded vaccines provided under the School Immunisation Program, funded vaccines will be provided for catch-up before the child turns 20 years of age. After this time, vaccines need to be purchased via private prescription. Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is provided for catch-up of students who were eligible for the vaccine in the Year 10 School Immunisation Program. Adolescents not attending school are still eligible for the funded vaccines.