From 1 July 2018, the childhood immunisation schedule will be updated based on the advice of clinical experts.
Summary of Key Changes to Early Childhood Vaccinations Include:
A pneumococcal vaccine will be offered to all children at 12 months of age (moved from 6 months of age). Clinical experts recommended this change to reduce disease in children and improve protection in all age groups through community immunity.
A new vaccine protecting against 4 types (ACWY) of meningococcal disease (up from 1) will be offered to all children at 12 months of age.
A vaccine protecting against Haemophilus influenzae type b will be offered to all children aged 18 months of age.
Your child’s due date for their next vaccination has not changed, check with your general practice to make sure your child’s next vaccination appointment is booked.
Meningococcal is a rare but very serious infection that can lead to blood poisoning (septicaemia) and brain infection (meningitis).
Meningococcal disease is caused by different types of the meningococcal bacteria—A, B, C, W and Y.
Previously, people with an infection from meningococcal types W and Y were rarely seen in Australia, but these have been increasing in recent years. The new vaccine will help protect against four types of meningococcal disease (A, C, W and Y) instead of one (C).
Who is eligible for the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine?
Meningococcal ACWY vaccine will be given to all children who are due for their 12 month vaccinations from 1 July 2018 onwards.
Children who have already received their meningococcal
C vaccine at 12 months of age are not eligible to receive the meningococcal ACWY vaccine under the NIP. Parents may purchase the meningococcal ACWY on the private market
if they wish to, or check if your state/territory o ers a funded program.
Is the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine at 12 months of age required as part of the Government’s No Jab, No Pay policy?
Meningococcal C vaccination at 12 months of age continues to be a requirement for eligibility for child care subsidies and family assistance payments. From 1 July 2018, the meningococcal C vaccine is being replaced by a meningococcal ACWY vaccine.
A child who receives the meningococcal ACWY vaccine at
12 months of age will meet the requirements for child care subsidies and family assistance payments.
What if my child has already received meningococcal ACWY vaccines before 12 months of age?
Even if your child has had one or more meningococcal ACWY vaccine doses before 12 months of age, a booster dose from 12 months of age, and at least 2 months of age after a previous dose, is required for the best protection.
Can I claim for reimbursement if my child received privately funded meningococcal ACWY vaccine before the program started?
No. The Australian Government provides vaccines at no cost through the NIP and no reimbursements are made for privately purchased vaccines including those purchased before the program started.
Is the meningococcal B vaccine also free?
No. Immunisation against meningococcal B disease is only available on private prescription and there is no discount under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
If you wish for your child to receive the meningococcal B vaccine you can make an appointment with your GP or other vacccination provider to have it discussed, prescribed and administered. Costs may vary by vaccination provider and chemist.
Previously, pneumococcal vaccination was given to all children at 2*, 4 and 6 months of age.
Immunisation experts have reviewed the evidence and recommended that Australia move pneumococcal vaccination to 2*, 4 and 12 months of age.
While the total number of doses has remained unchanged, the change in the schedule is expected to improve the protection provided by the childhood vaccination program.
What if my child has already received 3 doses of the pneumococcal vaccine before 12 months of age?
All children 12 months of age from 1 July 2018 will be offered a pneumococcal vaccine. If your child already received a dose at 2, 4 and 6 months of age (children born 1 July 2017 to 30 December 2017), they are not required to have a fourth dose at 12 months of age, however it is safe for them to have one.
If you choose not to have the additional dose at 12 months of age, there is no impact on your eligibility for child care subsidies or family assistance payments.
Haemophilus Infuenzae Type B (Hib) Vaccination
Hib (also called Haemophilus in uenzae type b) is a serious disease in young children. It can a ect the airways, skin, joints, ears or brain.
Previously, a Hib vaccine booster was given in a combination vaccine with meningococcal C to children at 12 months of age. The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is not available as a combination vaccine with Hib and so the Hib vaccine booster must now be given separately.
Four doses of Hib vaccine are still being provided through the NIP:
1. as part of a combination vaccine at 2*, 4, and 6 months of age; and
2 - alone at 18 months of age.
Immunisation experts have reviewed the evidence and recommended the fourth dose be moved from 12 months of age to 18 months of age. It has been judged safe and e ective to move this dose of Hib to 18 months of age.
What if my child has already received a Hib vaccine at 12 months of age?
All children 18 months of age from 1 July 2018 will be o ered a Hib vaccine booster. If your child already received a Hib vaccine at 12 months of age (children born between 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017) they are not required to have an additional dose, however it is safe for them to have one. If you choose not to have the dose at 18 months of age, there is no impact on your eligibility for child care subsidies or family assistance payments.
If you have any further questions regarding the immunisation program please contact Queensgate Medical Centre on 9456 1811