On-time vaccination

Children should be vaccinated as close as possible to the scheduled milestones. This is because each dose of every vaccine given to babies and children is carefully chosen to provide them with the earliest protection.

On time vaccination will give your child the best protection against serious diseases. If you delay vaccinations, your child will be unprotected for longer than necessary – often at an age when disease is most common or most serious.

For more information about the schedule, read the Why the National Immunisation Program Schedule is the way it is fact sheet on the Australian Department of Health website.

Don't delay vaccination because of a cold

If your child has a minor illness and does not have a fever of 38.4°C they can still receive their vaccination safely and effectively. Speak with your doctor or health clinic staff if you are unsure.

For more information on medical conditions influencing vaccination, visit Who can be immunised? on the Australian Department of Health website.

Vaccines are safe and effective​

All vaccines given to Australian children are carefully tested to ensure they are safe and effective. Before being registered for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), vaccines must pass three phases of clinical trials that test the vaccine’s safety, ability to effectively stimulate immune responses and whether there are any side effects.

The benefits of immunisation far outweigh any risks. However, like other medicines, a vaccine can sometimes cause side effects. These are usually mild and short-lasting and involve pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. Serious side effects are very rare.

For more information about how vaccines are tested, visit How are vaccines shown to be safe? on the Australian Department of Health website.

Keeping records

You will need to provide records of your child’s immunisations for child care, preschool and for school enrolment. Contact the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) on 1800 653 809 to obtain an AIR Immunisation History Statement.

More information

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Current as at: Thursday 25 March 2021
Contact page owner: Immunisation