Children under 10 years

Immunisation from an early age helps protect your child now and in the future against serious infections. Babies are especially vulnerable to disease because their immune systems are not yet developed. They are also at risk because their major organ systems are not fully mature.

To be fully protected, your child might need to receive 2-4 different vaccines at certain ages. It is also important that they get their immunisations on time. Check below when your child needs to be immunised or go to the immunisation schedule.

What can I expect when getting my child vaccinated?

Before your child gets immunised is a great time to ask your health provider or vaccination service any questions you might have.

After your child’s vaccination, your immunisation provider will send their vaccination details to the Australian Immunisation Register which collects vaccination information for all children, adolescents and adults in Australia.

It is recommended that you remain in the clinic with your child for at least 15 minutes after their immunisation to make sure there are no immediate side effects.

Some vaccines require more than one dose. See the immunisation schedule for details.

What happens if I don’t vaccinate my children?

Vaccinating young children protects the wider community by reducing the number of people with the virus. It also helps protect the people who are more vulnerable like very young children, older people and people with certain medical conditions.

If your child is not immunised, then they are at a higher risk of serious infectious diseases and possible consequences, such as disability or even death.

How can I make vaccinations easier?

Getting your child vaccinated can be challenging especially when your child starts to cry, gets restless or angry. Here are a few tips to make the experience easier for both of you:

  • hug or hold your child firmly during their vaccination
  • breast feed (if applicable)
  • distract your child with their favourite book or toy
  • ask for a pain reliever
  • be honest and calm with your child.

Can preterm babies be safely vaccinated?

Babies who are born preterm follow the same immunisation schedule as other children but require additional doses. This is based upon their actual birth date. Scientific evidence proves that healthy preterm babies respond well to full vaccine doses. If you have a sick or low weight preterm baby, talk to your immunisation provider about a modified schedule.

What should I tell my doctor or immunisation provider?

If your child has any of the following, tell your doctor or immunisation provider:

  • is unwell or has a temperature over 38.5 ºC
  • has had a severe reaction following a previous vaccine
  • has any severe allergies to other medication or substances
  • has had any vaccine in the past month
  • has had an injection of immunoglobulin or received any blood products or a whole blood transfusion within the past year
  • was a preterm infant born less than 32 weeks’ gestation, or weighing less than 2kg at birth
  • as a baby, has had an intussusception (a blockage caused by one portion of the bowel sliding into the next piece of bowel like the pieces of a telescope)
  • has a chronic illness
  • has a bleeding disorder
  • does not have a functioning spleen
  • lives with someone with a disease or who is having treatment that causes lower immunity – examples include leukaemia, cancer or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), oral steroid medications, radiotherapy or chemotherapy
  • has a disease which lowers immunity (such as leukaemia, cancer, HIV or AIDS) or is having treatment that causes low immunity (such as oral steroid medication, radiotherapy or chemotherapy)
  • identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Catch-ups

Having catch-up vaccinations means people can complete a course of age-appropriate vaccinations in the shortest but most effective timeframe. This provides optimal protection against disease as quickly as possible.

Boosters

Different vaccines provide us with immunity for varying lengths of time. A booster is an extra dose of a vaccine that you’ve had before that ‘boosts’ the immune system. Booster doses help maintain immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccination Schedule

People with medically at-risk conditions may require additional vaccines. Talk to your doctor for more information.

Age Disease Comments
Birth Hepatitis B
  • For all children given within 24 hours of birth
  • Can be given up to 7 days after birth
Tuberculosis
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 years and younger living in Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander communities
2 months (can be given from 6 weeks) DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio and haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Given as one vaccine
Pneumococcal
Rotavirus
  • First dose must be given less than 15 weeks of age
  • Second dose at less than 25 weeks of age
Meningococcal B
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
4 months DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio and haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Given as one vaccine
Pneumococcal
Rotavirus
  • First dose must be given less than 15 weeks of age
  • Second dose at less than 25 weeks of age
Meningococcal B
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
6 months DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio and haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Given as one vaccine
Pneumococcal
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
From 6 months to under 5 years of age Influenza
  • All children should receive influenza vaccine annually. 2 doses required for children 6 months to less than 9 years of age with a minimum of 1 month in between doses in the first year they receive influenza vaccine
12 months Measles-mumps-rubella
Meningococcal ACWY
Pneumococcal
Meningococcal B
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
18 months Measles-mumps-rubella-varicella
Haemophilus influenzae type b
DTPa (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough))
  • Given as one vaccine
Hepatitis A
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
4 years DTPa-IPV (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio)
  • Given as one vaccine
Hepatitis A
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
Pneumococcal
  • Additional vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • Dose at 4 years of age
  • Additional dose at least 5 years later
5 years and older Influenza
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from 6 months of age

Find out more

To find out more on immunisation for children under 10 years of age, contact your doctor, or health provider or call 13 HEALTH (13 432 584).