Immunisation – why you should
By law, a child must have an immunisation status certificate to enrol in primary school.
Children starting school are exposed to a large number of people and a range of potentially dangerous diseases. Immunisation is a proven and safe way to protect children against diseases that cause serious illness and sometimes death.
Enrolling in primary school is a good time to check that a child’s vaccinations are up to date.
Immunisation status certificates
An immunisation status certificate is a statement showing the vaccinations a child has received.
By law, an immunisation status certificate must be provided to the primary school when enrolling a child, even if the certificate shows that the child has not received any vaccinations.
The school keeps a copy of the certificate so that, if there is a disease outbreak, unvaccinated children can be quickly identified and excluded from school until the risk of infection has passed.
If the certificate is not provided to the school, a child may be excluded from school during a disease outbreak because their immunisation status is unknown.
Homeopathic treatment is not a legally recognised form of immunisation and cannot be listed on an immunisation status certificate.
Where to get an immunisation status certificate
From the Australian Immunisation Register
The most common type of immunisation status certificate is a Child History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Parents and guardians will be sent this statement when a child turns 5 years old, but a certificate can be requested at any time.
Parents or guardians should contact AIR if they:
- are moving or have recently moved, to ensure their contact details are up to date
- think their child’s statement is incomplete or incorrect.
Tel: 1800 653 809
Visit: your local Medicare or Centrelink office
From a GP or local council immunisation service
The department has a range of fact sheets on vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisation, including in other languages.