The aim of immunisation is to prevent people from acquiring vaccine preventable diseases by achieving 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 from birth to adulthood

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

The National Immunisation Program Schedule (PDF 84KB) outlines when the recommended immunisations are due, at different ages throughout life. It is particularly important that all children receive their vaccinations on time so that they get the maximum protection against the diseases that the vaccines protect against, as soon as they can.

Vaccines for adolescents and adults

Immunisation is not only important for children, but adolescents and adults too. The School Immunisation Program provides parents with the opportunity to have their child vaccinated through their school at no cost. Some vaccines are also available to protect against age-specific disease such as human papillomavirus (HPV), which is offered through the school program. Additionally, booster doses are required to maintain immunity against some diseases.  

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), 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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