Aboriginal immunisation recommendations

The term Aboriginal is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Some vaccines have different recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they are at higher risk of some vaccine preventable diseases.  

Recommendations for Aboriginal children

In addition to the vaccines recommended on the childhood schedule, Aboriginal children are also recommended to receive the following:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine - at 6 months of age
  • Hepatitis A vaccine - 2 doses at 12 and 18 months of age
  • annual Flu vaccine -  each year from 6 months of age.  Children aged 6 months to less than 9 years receiving influenza vaccine  for the first time require 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart

For more information on additional vaccines, see the Childhood Immunisation Program: Frequently asked questions.

Recommendations for Aboriginal adolescents and adults

In addition to the vaccines recommended on the adolescent and adult schedule (PDF 72KB), Aboriginal adolescents and adults are recommended to receive the following:

Success of immunisation programs in Aboriginal children

The success of immunisation programs in Aboriginal children is evident in the decreased burden of disease and the decreased rate of hospital admissions following the introduction of the National Immunisation Program.

There still remains a gap in the immunisation coverage rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in the younger age groups. By 2 years of age the immunisation coverage gap increases significantly highlighting a delay in Aboriginal children getting vaccinated. Delayed immunisations leave children vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases at periods when they are most at risk.

Children are not fully protected until the completion of their full course of childhood immunisations by 4 years of age. Currently 94-95% of 4 year old Aboriginal children are considered fully immunised.

Immunisation coverage rates are improving, but there continues to be a number of factors affecting Aboriginal immunisation coverage rates, including timeliness and identification of Aboriginal status among health service providers. For more information on how to improve timeliness of vaccination in Aboriginal children for vaccines due at 6 weeks of age, 4 and 6 months of age see the Help Me Stay Strong page.

Immunisation programs have been shown to reduce the rates of disease between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people for specific vaccine preventable disease.

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