What is immunisation?
Immunisation involves taking a vaccine to help protect against harmful infectious diseases that can spread quickly, cause serious illness and sometimes death. Immunisation protects your family and others by helping to control serious diseases in the community.
How does immunisation work?
Immunisations are given as an injection or as drops in the mouth by a qualified nurse or doctor.
When a person is vaccinated, their body produces an immune response against the disease, without suffering any symptoms. In the future if a person comes into contact with the disease, their immune system will respond quickly to prevent the person from developing the disease.
When should I/my child be immunised?
Immunisation is recommended beginning at six weeks of age, as it is better at protecting against childhood diseases which may affect growth and development. See the Department of Health and Human Services Immunisation website for information about which vaccines your child should receive and when.
How safe are vaccines?
Millions of children and adults are safely vaccinated in Australia every year. It is a requirement of the law in Australia that all vaccines must pass safety testing before being used.
What are the possible side-effects of receiving a vaccine?
Many people may experience minor side effects following immunisation. Most side effects last a short time and the person recovers without any problems.
Common side-effects may include redness, soreness and swelling at the site of an injection, mild fever and infants may appear grizzly or unsettled.
Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare. If you are concerned, contact your doctor immediately. It is important to remember that vaccines are safer than the diseases they prevent.
The benefit of protection against the vaccine preventable diseases far outweighs the very small risks associated with receiving the vaccine.
How long do immunisations last?
This depends on the type of vaccine; some last a lifetime others may require a ‘booster’ injection for continues protection. It is important to keep a record of all immunisations received to ensure a high level of protection throughout a person’s life
Why is immunisation important?
Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of protecting the population against certain diseases. After immunisation, people are far less likely to catch a vaccine preventable disease.
If enough people in the community are immunised, the infection can no longer be spread from person to person and the disease eventually disappears. This is how smallpox was eliminated from the world and polio has disappeared from many countries.
Are there any reasons to delay immunisation?
There are very few medical reasons to delay immunisation. A person should wait to be immunised if they are sick with a high temperature. A person can still be immunised if:
- they have a runny nose but are not ill,
- they are on antibiotics and recovering from illness.
Where can I get immunised?
The City of Casey provides a free, immunisation program delivered by registered nurses, for residents.
Immunisation sessions take place at venues across the city each month. Location dates and times are available on the Immunisation Schedule available at www.casey.vic.gov.au/immunisation or by phoning City of Casey Customer Service on 9705 5200.
The City of Casey also delivers a secondary school immunisation program. Vaccines are given based on the child’s age.
Parents must give consent for their child to be immunised. Children will receive a consent form at school, this must be filled out and returned to the school to ensure your child is immunised.
Who is eligible for immunisation services?
Babies and children living in the City of Casey can receive free immunisations as long as they are eligible for a Medicare Card. This includes children not born in Australia who may have received some vaccines overseas.
Residents of the City of Casey that are from overseas and are in Australia as International Students are not eligible to access the free immunisation program.
What do I do if my child has been immunised somewhere else?
If your child has been immunised in another country or at your local doctor, a catch up program may be required.
Please speak with a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or contact the City of Casey Customer Service on 9705 5200 before attending an immunisation session.
For more information on immunisation please visit the Department of Health and Human Services Immunisation website or contact the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria on 1300 882 008.
National Immunisation Program
Information fact sheets in English and other languages, regarding the vaccines administered under the National Immunisation Schedule are available from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Coming from Overseas
If you are a resident in the City of Casey and have recently arrived from overseas and your children meet the Criteria for the use of Government Vaccines, your children may need to obtain catch up vaccinations to ensure that they are fully immunised to the National Immunisation Program.
Prior to attending a Council Immunisation session you are requested to make an appointment with our Immunisation Service staff to go through your children’s immunisation records. To make an appointment contact the City of Casey on telephone 9705 5200.
Residents of the City of Casey that are from overseas and are in Australian as International Students are not eligible to access the free vaccination program.
Residents on Student Visas must contact their General Practitioner to discuss vaccinations. The costs of vaccinations can be recovered through private health insurance that is required to be held by international students.
Free Vaccination Scheduler Mobile Phone App
The Vaccination Scheduler is a simple app that sends reminders to parents when their children's vaccinations are due. This is important for all parents, because childcare benefits are linked to timely vaccinations. The app tracks the vaccinaton histories of up to six children.
Visit the Vaccination Scheduler website and download the app.
Childhood Immunisation History Statements
In the past if a child had not been immunised exclusively by Council, we would not hold their complete immunisation history. If you have had your child immunised at a number of locations it is recommended that you contact the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). ACIR will then send out the immunisation history to the parent.
Parents now have a number of options available:
- Effective 1st July 2014, any parent wishing to obtain a copy of their child’s Immunisation History through the Council will need to pay a fee of $27.50.
- Parents can now access their children's ACIR records from Medicare offices. Immunisation History Statements can be provided on the spot for children aged 0-7 years. This will not affect the routine statements Council sends at 1, 2 and 4-5 years of age.
- Medicare Australia also provides a mechanism for parents to access their Child's Immunisation History Statement online via Medicare Online Services which enables parents to access their children's immunisation details over the internet. Parents need to register for a password which will allow them secure access to the Medicare Australia website, from which they can view their child's history statement on screen. Customers can only access their own information. To register, the parent will be required to enter their own Medicare Number, Reference Number and their Date of Birth. A password will then be sent to the applicant by mail.
School Entry Certificates
It is a legal requirement to provide a school entry certificate upon enrolment to a primary school in Victoria. Upon completion of the 4 year old vaccinations, a History Statement will automatically be sent to you from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). The bottom of the statement should read "This child has received all vaccines required by 5 years of age". This then becomes your School Entry Certificate.
If you have not received or have lost your History Statement, call ACIR on 1800 653 809 or visit ACIR online services.
Further information regarding the Immunisation Program
For information about immunisation, please call Council's Immunisation Department on 9705 5200, or talk to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse. Alternatively you can contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Immunisation Program on 1300 882 008.