In Victoria some special, at-risk groups are eligible to receive some vaccines for free: vulnerable people, children and adolescents in out-of-home care, medically at-risk people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and refugees and asylum seekers.

Vulnerable people

Some people who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage don't have equitable access to vaccines during their period of eligibility.

Eligibility criteria for free vaccines  

Current immunisation schedule

Children and adolescents in out-of-home care

Children and adolescents in out-of-home care may have missed routine vaccines, or missed additional recommended vaccines because of their health status. A summary of what out-of-home carers need to know is provided below, along with the guide Immunisation for children in care.

What you need to know

  • Children and adolescents living in out-of-home care are often behind with their immunisations.
  • Carers can give a general practitioner (GP) permission to give vaccines to a child in their care, if an authorisation instrument has been provided by Child Protection.
  • To enrol in childcare, a child must have an immunisation history statement showing which immunisations they have received.
  • Centrelink family payments may stop if a child is not up to date with vaccinations.
  • Talk about immunisation at the child’s health check with a GP.

Immunisation for children in out-of-home care

Current immunisation schedule

Immunisation calculator for children prior to their 10th birthday 

Medically at-risk people

Additional vaccines are recommended for people with certain medical conditions.

The Australian immunisation handbook, Vaccination for Special Risk Groups

Current immunisation schedule - enhanced immunisation schedule available from this page

Quick guide table for planning pneumococcal vaccination for adults

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Additional vaccines are recommended at certain ages.

Current immunisation schedule - enhanced immunisation schedule available from this page

Refugees and asylum seekers

Vaccines are funded regardless of whether the person holds a Medicare card.

Catch up vaccinations for refugees and asylum seekers in Victoria - information in eight community languages - Health Translations 

Immunisation: information for case workers and health service staff - Victorian Refugee Health Network 

Catch-up immunisation for refugees and asylum seekers: information for immunisation providers

Vaccines – eligibility criteria for free vaccines

National Immunisation Program: Free catch-up vaccines for refugees and other humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over (ongoing) 

Age, lifestyle and occupation

Other factors may require a person to need additional vaccines. More information can be found in the Australian immunisation handbook, Vaccination for Special Risk Groups.

In some circumstances, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs are eligible for free vaccination. For consumer information please visit the Time to Immunise page on the Better Health Channel.

For information about vaccinations in the workplace, such as for healthcare workers, working with children and influenza vaccination please visit the Vaccinations in the workplace section.