Under the Public Health Act 2010 and the Public Health Regulation 2012, primary schools must request and record the immunisation status of each enrolled child.
The Immunisation History Statement which is issued by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) is required as proof of immunisation status for enrolment at school under the NSW Public Health Act 2010. The Personal Health Record (Blue Book) is not acceptable evidence.
More information about the Public Health Act 2010 and the Public Health Regulation 2012 is available at Public Health Legislation and further information about the ACIR is available at Australian Immunisation Register.
An Immunisation Register template for Primary Schools has been developed to assist primary schools to maintain records of the vaccination status of enrolled children.
The following questions and answers may clarify some issues. Note these apply only to the requirements for primary schools.
When is the Immunisation History Statement issued by the ACIR?
The ACIR will send the Immunisation History Statement to the parent automatically after a child has received their 4 year old immunisations and after the service provider has sent the information to the ACIR or when the child turns 5 years of age (whichever occurs first). Parents who do not receive a History Statement after these events should contact the ACIR on 1800 653 809.
What can a parent do if they have not received a History Statement or believe that the History Statement they have received is not up to date?
Parents can request another copy of the History Statement by calling the ACIR on 1800 653 809, requesting a statement by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting Medicare Online Services or a local Medicare office.
What if a parent refuses to provide a History Statement?
A parent can refuse to provide a History Statement to a primary school, but their child will be classified as not immunised and may be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in the school.
How do I tell if the child is fully immunised?
If the child has received all the vaccines required by 5 years of age, the History Statement will have the following wording in the purple area at the bottom of the form - "This child has received all vaccines required by 5 years of age".
Can the History Statement be accepted by schools if the child is not fully immunised?
Yes, the History Statement can be accepted however the parent should be informed that children who are not fully immunised may be excluded from school for their own protection if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in the school.
Can schools photocopy the original History Statement?
Yes, if staff are happy to do so, a photocopy can be retained by the school.
Do schools need to transfer the History Statement when a child moves to another primary school?
Yes, the History Statement needs to be transferred with the child's records to another primary school only upon request. Immunisation records are not required by high schools.
Are primary schools required to forward the History Statement to the child's high school?
No. The school entry immunisation requirements under the NSW Public Health Act 2010 only apply to primary schools.
How long do schools need to retain the Statements?
Primary schools need to retain the Statements for three years after the child has left the school.
What if the parent provides the school with a record of vaccines given overseas?
The parent should be advised to consult a local doctor who can assess whether the child needs any additional vaccines. The doctor will then transfer the information to the ACIR and a History Statement can be requested from Medicare.