Hepatitis B vaccine

Free Hepatitis B vaccines are available for the following people where clinically indicated. This includes non-Medicare card holders:

  • All people under 20 years of age. The catch-up schedule will need to commence on or before the child’s 20th birthday and may be completed beyond this date, as required
  • All refugees and humanitarian entrants including asylum seekers
  • People at risk of hepatitis B infection as follows:
    • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – hepatitis B non-immune, no restrictions
    • Household contacts and sexual partners of people living with hepatitis B
    • People who inject drugs or are on opioid substitution therapy
    • People living with Hepatitis C
    • Men who have sex with men
    • People living with HIV
    • People no longer in a custodial setting who commenced but did not complete a free vaccine course while in custody
    • People born in priority hepatitis B endemic countries and arrived in Australia in the last 10 years. (Priority countries include China, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Thailand, South Korea, Myanmar (Burma) Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cambodia)

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Influenza vaccine

Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for all adults who wish to protect themselves from influenza however the vaccine is only funded for eligible people.

More information

  • View seasonal influenza vaccine eligibility, strains, brands and ordering information
  • National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance fact sheets

Measles - mumps - rubella (MMR) vaccine

A Victorian Government funded measles-containing vaccine program is available for all adults born during or since 1966 and aged from 20 years without evidence of two documented  doses of valid MMR vaccine or without serological evidence of immunity. One or two free doses of M-M-R-11® vaccine can be administered to eligible adults. If two M-M-R-II® doses are required they must be given a minimum of 28 days apart. 

Some adults may be not immune or only partially immune to measles, mumps and rubella because they were not captured in the Australian Measles Control Campaign in the late 1990s and the subsequent Young Adults MMR program in 2001.

It is important to check the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination status of adults with no documented history of two doses of measles- mumps and rubella vaccine, especially women of childbearing age. Immunisation providers should upload a record of all vaccines administered to the Australian Immunisation Register.

MMR vaccine should be administered to women planning pregnancy or post partum with low or negative rubella antibody levels.

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Meningococcal vaccine

Four-in-one meningococcal vaccines are available to protect against A, C, W and Y strains of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal B vaccine is recommended for infants, children, adolescents and young adults to protect against the meningococcal B strain.

The National Immunisation Program provides a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for children at 12 months of age or a free catch-up dose for unimmunised people under 20 years of age who have not previously had their meningococcal C vaccine at 12 months.

From April 2019, a free meningococcal ACWY school based vaccination program will be provided on the National Immunisation Program for secondary school students in Year 10, or age equivalent. Young people aged 15 to 19 years of age, who have not already received the vaccine in school, will be able to be vaccinated by their immunisation provider.

Immunisation against meningococcal serogroup B disease is available on private prescription, but is not available free under the National Immunisation Program schedule. This vaccine is recommended for high risk groups, including:

  • infants and young children, Children aged less than five years, particularly infants aged less than two years, have the highest numbers of meningococcal disease caused by meningococcal B strains  adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
  • Special risk and immunosuppressed patients -children and adults with medical conditions that place them at a high risk of meningococcal disease, such as a poor functioning or no spleen, a complement component disorder, HIV, current or future treatment with eculizumab or a haematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • laboratory personnel who frequently handle meningococcal bacteria.

More information

  • National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance fact sheet
  • Better Health Channel consumer meningococcal immunisation information
  • The Australian Immunisation Handbook Meningococcal disease chapter
  • Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre fact sheet

Pertussis vaccine

Pertussis-containing vaccines are available through the National Immunisation Program for  the pregnant woman in every pregnancy.

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Pneumococcal vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine is provided free on the NIP  for Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) people from 50 years of age or from 65 years for non ATSI people. It may be recommended for other adults at medical risk but is not funded.

More information

  • Quick guide table for planning pneumococcal vaccination for adults
  • Australian Immunisation Handbook Pneumococcal disease chapter
  • Pneumococcal vaccines for Australians fact sheet National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine NCIRS FAQ's
  • Vaccines for Australian adults fact sheet from NCIRS

Zoster (Shingles) vaccine

Zostavax®  vaccine commenced on the NIP free of charge from 1 November 2016 for people aged 70 years. There is also  a five year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years until 31 October 2021.

Zostavax® contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus, containing 14 times more virus than childhood varicella vaccines and is contraindicated in immunocompromised people. Administration to people who are immunocompromised is associated with risk of disseminated disease from the vaccine virus.

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