Key messages

  • All secondary school-aged students in Year 7 and Year 10 (or age equivalent) are offered vaccines.
  • The local council delivers this program in all secondary schools in their municipality.
  • Parents' contact details will be shared with local councils to assist in delivering the program.
  • Young people under 18 need parental consent for vaccination unless they are considered a 'mature minor'.
  • All adolescents under 20 years of age are eligible for free catch-up vaccines.
  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is free for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years of age.

Secondary school vaccination program

Year 7 (12-13 years) secondary school vaccination program

Recommended vaccines:

  • dTp = diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (1 dose)
  • HPV = human papillomavirus vaccine (2 doses)

Year 10 (or age equivalent) secondary school vaccination program

Recommended vaccine:

  • Meningococcal ACWY (1 dose)

Consent for vaccination

Children and young people under 18, generally, require parent/guardian consent to be vaccinated. Consent forms can be downloaded below.

The law recognises that as children become older and more mature, they are more capable of making their own decisions about a wide range of issues including decisions about their healthcare and wellbeing. The law recognises that a young person may reach this stage before they are 18 years old. These young people are referred to as 'mature minors'.

There is no specific age when a young person may be deemed a mature minor. Determining whether a young person is a mature minor requires consideration of whether they have sufficient maturity to understand the nature and effect of a decision to be vaccinated. Relevant factors include:

  • age
  • level of maturity for their age
  • understanding of the issues and consequences
  • living arrangements (independence).

In a school setting this determination may be made by the school principal in accordance with the DET policy on Decision Making by Mature Minors.

In other settings it may be able to be made by a medical practitioner or other health or welfare professional who is considered to have sufficient knowledge of the young person and their history and circumstances to assess the above factors.

Authorisation to share contact details

The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 authorises secondary schools to provide their local council with student and parent/guardian contact information for any student scheduled to receive a vaccination. This information assists local councils to follow-up parents/guardians of students with incomplete or missing consent cards. 

Contact details must be used strictly for the purposes of delivering the secondary school vaccine program.

Councils can also issue reminders, notifications and information about the program. This may be done by SMS, email, phone call or mailed letter.

Secondary School vaccination program information and resources

Local government councils (councils) are required under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to provide immunisation services to children living or being educated within their municipal district. 

Councils coordinate and deliver immunisation services to secondary schools either directly, or through a contracted immunisation provider, usually a health service. 

The following resources, available in Downloads, have been developed to support councils to deliver the secondary school vaccination program:

  • agreement between schools and councils
  • a school immunisation guide for coordinators
  • collection statement student contact details
  • information related to transferring information from school to council
  • consent card booklets
  • translated resources, on Health Translations website
  • secondary school vaccination program factsheet
  • secondary school vaccination program newsletter

Secondary school vaccine program resources

Local councils can order secondary school vaccine program resources online, including:

Year 7

  • Information and consent booklet
  • dTp record pad (tear-off pad, 100 sheets)
  • HPV record pad (tear-off pad, 100 sheets)

Year 10

  • Information and consent card
  • Meningococcal ACWY immunisation record pad (tear-off pad, 100 sheets)

Translated information for the vaccine program can be accessed on the Health Translations website.

Contact details