What is Immunisation?
Immunisation protects children and adults against harmful infections before they come into contact with them in the community. Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to specific infections. Immunisation helps children stay healthy by preventing serious infections.
The Council holds 16 day immunisation sessions per month in Maternal and Child Health Centres throughout the municipality and evening sessions as listed on the immunisation program. All immunisation sessions are interchangeable and there is no need to make an appointment. Please see the Council’s Immunisation Program for venue addresses, dates and times of immunisation sessions.
Immunisation Information Packs are available from Council’s Maternal and Child Health Nurses. These packs are usually given to parents by their MCHN when their baby is 2 – 4 weeks old. It is important to read the information contained in the pack. If you have any queries, please phone Council’s Public Health Office Immunisation Service on 9932 1511.
The Victoria Government Department of Health provides information on immunisation in other languages http://health.vic.gov.au/immunisation/factsheets/language.htm
What happens at an immunisation session?
On arrival you should take a number and be seated until your number is called by the Council staff. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, or concerns about whether your child should be immunised, ask a staff member immediately.
When your number is called a staff member will ask for your baby’s health book and the visit will be recorded on the Council’s computer. Your baby's health book will be stamped with the immunisations that baby has received together with your due back date. A common reaction to vaccines sheet will also be placed in the book. You will then be taken through to one of the Council’s immunisation nurses who will ask you if baby is well today and confirm what immunisations are due.
On completion of the immunisations you will then be asked to return to the seating area and remain at the venue for 15 minutes. This is a precautionary measure in case your baby has a reaction. An adverse reaction to immunisation will usually happen within a few minutes of receiving the injection. Signs to look for are skin rash, facial swelling, pallor, limpness or breathing difficulties. If you are at all worried go back to the nurse immediately.
Are there any reasons to delay immunisation?
There are very few medical reasons to delay immunisation. Babies with minor coughs and colds without fever, or those receiving antibiotics in the recovery phase of an acute illness, can be immunised safely and effectively. Immunisation should only be postponed if a child is very unwell with a high fever at or above (38.5oC). Immunisation should be arranged for when baby is well again (a week or two later). If in any doubt, ask immunisation staff before delaying immunisation.
What are the side effects of immunisation?
Common side effects of immunisation are redness and soreness at the site of an injection and mild fever. More serious reactions to immunisation are very rare, but if they do occur a doctor or hospital should be consulted immediately. It is important to remember that vaccines are many times safer than the diseases they prevent.
The Council’s immunisation team conducts three immunisation sessions at all secondary schools in Hobsons Bay each year.
Immunisation Consent Cards are delivered to schools in February of each year for distribution to students in Years 7 and 10. Students are asked to take the consent cards home for parent or guardian consent and return them to school when completed.
If you think your child would benefit from you being with them for their immunisation, you can bring them to any Council session listed on the Immunisation Program.
If a student is absent from school on the immunisation day, a letter will be forwarded to their home address.
The recommended vaccines are as follows:
Year 7 students
Previously unvaccinated students require 2 doses of vaccine at least 4 months apart. If your child has previously received 3 doses of hepatitis b vaccine – no further doses are required).
Students require 1 dose only. Vaccine is not required if your child has previously had chickenpox disease.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Female students only require 3 doses of Gardasil vaccine.
Year 10 students
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) – Boostrix Vaccine
All students require 1 dose of this vaccine.
What happens if you child missed their immunisation at school.
You will be sent a letter advising that your child missed their immunisation at school and which immunisation session to attend to catch up the missed dose.
Four year old immunisation
Children aged four years old should receive booster immunisations against:
- diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio - InfanrixIPV vaccine
- measles, mumps, rubella. - Priorix vaccine
Hobsons Bay City Council provides show bags for four year olds at all immunisation sessions listed on the Council’s Immunisation Program.
Four year old immunisations are now overdue at four years and one month. A reminder about this immunisation will be posted to you by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.
If your child is not immunised by four years and three months, child care payments may be stopped by Centrelink.
School Entry Immunisation Status Certificate
Parents or guardians are required to provide proof of their child’s immunisation status prior to starting primary school.
What is a School Entry Immunisation Status Certificate
It is a current record of your child’s immunisations.
It will assist health authorities in protecting children in the event of a vaccine preventable disease occurrence in school. An unvaccinated child may be excluded from school for a period of time.
How do I obtain a School Entry Immunisation Status Certificate?
You will automatically receive a history statement from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) after your child has completed the four year old vaccines. The history statement is used as the school entry immunisation status certificate.
If your child has completed all immunisations but you have not received a history statement call ACIR on 1800 653 809 to find out why.
If for some reason your child’s immunisation records are incomplete or missing contact ACIR, your GP or Hobsons Bay City Council Immunisation Service on 9932 1511.
If your child has never been vaccinated or was vaccinated overseas, then contact Hobsons Bay City Council Immunisation Service who will be able to assist you in obtaining a school entry immunisation status certificate.
School entry immunisation status certificates can be obtained from:
Who do I give the School Entry Immunisation Status Certificate to?
Once you have obtained your School Entry Immunisation Status Certificate you will need to present it to your child’s primary school on enrolment.
If you have lost the certificate issued by the ACIR phone 1800 653 809 or visit your local Medicare office to obtain another copy.
It is important that the ACIR has your current address details to make sure you receive your school entry immunisation status certificate.
If you are moving, or have recently moved, contact ACIR on 1800 653 809 or email email@example.com to update your contact details.
The Council offers the following adult immunisations:
- Hepatitis B – adults require 3 doses of this vaccine;
- Chickenpox vaccine – adults and children over 13 years require 2 doses of this vaccine;
- Meningococcal C vaccine;
- Boostrix (Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis (whooping cough)) – this vaccine is available at a cost of $40.00 per dose for adults, however the vaccine is funded by the government for parents of newborn babies;
- Adult Diphtheria and Tetanus – free for those 50 years of age or over;
- Pneumococcal vaccine – free for those 65 years and over; and
- Fluvax – free for those 65 years and over.
The Council offers the flu vaccine to all community members each year around February. The vaccine costs $22 per dose, but is free to people 65 years and over.
Immunisation for overseas students
Immunisations for children of overseas students are no longer provided free of charge. These vaccines must be provided by a doctor for a fee. To see if you are eligible for free vaccines, please see the attached criteria sheet.
Workplace Influenza immunisation
Hobsons Bay City Council provides an onsite workplace immunisation program. For information regarding this program please telephone 9932 1511.