The aim of immunisation is to prevent people from acquiring vaccine preventable diseases through high vaccination rates in the community through state and national immunisation programs. Before any vaccine can be used in Australia it must be licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA uses scientific evidence on each vaccine to assess safety and effectiveness.

Other vaccines may be recommended if you are travelling overseas or work in an occupation where there is a risk of catching a disease.

To receive a vaccine, see the Immunisation services page for a list of organisations that can assist you.

Vaccines for children

The vaccines available on the immunisation schedule in Australia start at birth when all children are offered a hepatitis B immunisation.

Protect your baby: Why your infant needs protection against hepatitis B (PDF 784KB) provides valuable information for parents-to-be on why this immunisation is recommended.

It is important that children receive their vaccinations on time so that they get the maximum protection against diseases. National Immunisation Program Schedule (PDF 84KB) outlines when the recommended immunisations are due.

Vaccines for adolescents and adults

Immunisation is not only important for children, but adolescents and adults too. Booster doses are required to maintain immunity from some diseases.  Additional vaccines are also available to protect against age-specific disease such as HPV.

The School Immunisation Program provides parents with the opportunity to have their child vaccinated at no cost through their school.

Immunisations recommended for adults may relate to age, Aboriginal status, occupation, previous injury or illness, vaccination history, plans to travel or plans to start a family.

Some of these vaccines are available free for certain individuals through the National Immunisation Program schedule (PDF 84KB) schedule, for example the flu and pneumococcal vaccines for individuals 65 years of age and over. Other recommended vaccines that are not free under Commonwealth or state funded programs,  will require a prescription from your doctor.

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