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Vaccination Schedules in Australia

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Australia conducts an aggressive vaccination program – far more aggressive than many nations in the world.  A child born today will receive 49 vaccine doses by the time they reach adulthood, when the standard schedule has been followed to the letter.  This rises to to 67 when the recommended (but unfunded nationally) annual Influenza for children aged 6 months to 18 years is included.  Indigenous and medically-at-risk children will receive even more.  See tables below.

See 1960, 1975 and 1996 schedules further down the page, for comparison.

National schedule effective from 01 July 2018

The following tables are based on the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

Standard schedule up to 18 years of age

Age
Vaccine#Doses
AntenatalDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Influenza
4
BirthHepatitis B1
2 monthsHepatitis B
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Haemophilus Influenzae type b (HIB)
Pneumococcal 13 strains
Rotavirus
8
4 monthsHepatitis B
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Haemophilus Influenzae type b (HIB)
Pneumococcal 13 strains
Rotavirus
8
6 monthsHepatitis B
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Haemophilus Influenzae type b (HIB)
6
12 monthsMeasles
Mumps
Rubella
Meningococcal ACWY strains
Pneumococcal 13 strains
5
18 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Varicella
Haemophilus Influenzae type b (HIB)
8
4 yearsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
4
10 - 15 years Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Human Papillomavirus (2 doses)
(These vaccines are delivered through the School Vaccination Program)
5
Total49

Additional schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders up to 18 years of age

In addition to the standard schedule above, the vaccines listed in the table below are also funded for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under the National Immunisation Program.

AgeDisease# Doses
6 monthsPneumococcal 13 strains
(QLD, NT, WA and SA)
Influenza
(All states)
1
> 6 months - 5 yearsInfluenza
(All states)
5
12 monthsHepatitis A
(QLD, NT, WA and SA)
1
18 monthsHepatitis A
(QLD, NT, WA and SA)
1
> 15 yearsPneumococcal 23 strains
(Medically at risk)
1
15 - 17 yearsInfluenza
(All states)
3
Total12

Vaccines for medically at-risk children

In addition to the schedules above, some additional vaccines are funded for medically at-risk children under the National Immunisation Program.  For example, extra Pneumococcal vaccines.  See the section called Vaccination for Special Risk Groups in the Australian Immunisation Handbook for further details.

Adult schedule

AgeDisease
15 – 49 years
(Indigenous only)
Pneumococcal 23 strain
(Medically at risk only)
50 years and over
(Indigenous only)
Pneumococcal 23 strain
65 years and overShingles
Pneumococcal 23 strain
Influenza

State and territory vaccination schedules

State and territory health departments also fund some additional vaccines not funded under the National Immunisation Program.  For example, Influenza vaccines for pregnant women.  See links to state and territory health departments below.

Recommended vaccines 1960

In 1960, there was not a national vaccination schedule as such.  According to the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), children are likely to have received 13 vaccine doses as shown in the table below.

AgeVaccine# Doses
up to 6 yearsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
Polio (Salk (IPV)
Polio (Salk (IPV)
Polio (Salk (IPV)
Polio (Salk (IPV)
4
Total13

Sources
Significant events in polio vaccination practice in Australia
(1956) page 1
Significant events in diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccination practice in Australia
(1953) page 1

National schedule 1975

As you can see in the table below, in 1975, children received 18 vaccine doses up to the age of 6 years.  Vaccination started at 3 months of age, and children were not given more than 3 doses at a time.

AgeVaccine# Doses
3 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
4 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
5 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
6 monthsPolio (Oral Sabin)1
8 monthsPolio (Oral Sabin)1
10 monthsPolio (Oral Sabin)1
12 monthsMeasles1
15 - 18 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
3
5 - 6 yearsDiphtheria
Tetanus
2
12 - 14 years
(girls only)
Rubella1
Total18 or 19

Source
NH&MRC Immunisation Procedures – Recommended Schedule of Basic Immunisation Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra 1975

Smallpox vaccination in 1960 and 1975

Although Smallpox vaccine was not universally used in young children in Australia in 1960 and 1975 some children would have also received a dose of this vaccine, depending on where they lived, and if they travelled overseas.

It is difficult to determine just how widespread Smallpox vaccination was in Australia during these periods.

According to federal Hansard from 1959, Smallpox vaccine was made available by the Commonwealth free of charge to state health authorities.

How the campaign is conducted, and what use is made of the vaccine after that, are matters for arrangement by the local authorities concerned, and are no concern of the Commonwealth.

According to federal Hansard from 1965, no cases of Smallpox had been recorded in Australia for 27 years, and quarantine measures were in force at that time.

Nobody can enter Australia by air without producing a current international certificate of vaccination or without undergoing a period of quarantine.

At this time, Australians going overseas were also strongly advised to be vaccinated against Smallpox as were those Australians who work in occupations which bring them into regular contact with overseas travellers are encouraged to be vaccinated.

The 1975 NH&MRC Immunisation Procedures recommended that, when used, primary vaccination against Smallpox should commence between one and four years.

National schedule 1996

Here is the 1996 schedule, also for comparison:

AgeVaccine# Doses
2 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Hib (HibTITER or PedvaxHib)
Polio (Oral Sabin)
5
4 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Hib (HibTITER or PedvaxHib)
Polio (Oral Sabin)
5
6 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Hib (HibTITER)
Polio (Oral Sabin)
5 *
12 monthsMeasles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib (PedvaxHib)
4 *
18 monthsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Hib (HibTITER)
4 *
4 - 5 yearsDiphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio (Oral Sabin)
4
Total25 / 26 *

* Children who received the HibTITER vaccine received 4 doses while those who received the PedvaxHib vaccine received only 3 doses.

Source
Australian Bureau of Statistics – Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule 1996

Downloadable Comparison Table

Please feel free to download and share our poster called Vaccine Doses for Australian Children.  It highlights the significant increase in the number of vaccine doses a child born today will receive relative to previous generations.

Right click image below to “Save As Image”. Size is suitable for Facebook.

Download Vaccine Doses for Australian Children (pdf).

NB. This page is currently being updated below this point


Is the general health of our children worsening rather than improving? Autoimmune and neurological disorders have been increasing significantly from the 1990’s to now. Why is this?

“For the first time in over a decade the federal government is releasing new data on the number of children with developmental disabilities, reporting that diagnoses have grown significantly since the 1990s.
About 1 in 6 U.S. children are diagnosed with a developmental disability, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published online in the journal Pediatrics Monday. That represents an increase of 17 percent between 1997 and 2008 alone.”

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/05/23/cdc-1-in-6/13146/

“Key findings. In 2007, approximately 3 million children under age 18 years (3.9%) were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months.
From 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18% among children under age 18 years. Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.
From 2004 to 2006, there were approximately 9,500 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children under age 18 years.
Note: See Definitions for an explanation of reported food allergy.
Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives. Eight types of food account for over 90% of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat (1,2). Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips and hives to death, depending on the severity of the allergy. The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults, and a majority of affected children will “outgrow food” allergies with age. However, food allergy can sometimes become a lifelong concern (1). Food allergies can greatly affect children and their families’ well-being. There are some indications that the prevalence of food allergy may be increasing in the United States and in other countries (2-4).”

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm

“RESULTS:

An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included; 19.2% (14.2 million) have conditions resulting in a special health care need, a 1.6 point increase since 2003.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21570014


Adjuvants and autoimmunity

Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations.

“Abstract
Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic. Taken together, these observations raise plausible concerns about the overall safety of current childhood vaccination programs. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, several key points ought to be considered: (i) infants and children should not be viewed as “small adults” with regard to toxicological risk as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; (ii) in adult humans Al vaccine adjuvants have been linked to a variety of serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions (i.e., “ASIA”), yet children are regularly exposed to much higher amounts of Al from vaccines than adults; (iii) it is often assumed that peripheral immune responses do not affect brain function. However, it is now clearly established that there is a bidirectional neuro-immune cross-talk that plays crucial roles in immunoregulation as well as brain function. In turn, perturbations of the neuro-immune axis have been demonstrated in many autoimmune diseases encompassed in “ASIA” and are thought to be driven by a hyperactive immune response; and (iv) the same components of the neuro-immune axis that play key roles in brain development and immune function are heavily targeted by Al adjuvants. In summary, research evidence shows that increasing concerns about current vaccination practices may indeed be warranted. Because children may be most at risk of vaccine-induced complications, a rigorous evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in the pediatric population is urgently needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22235057

“Alongside their supportive role, adjuvants were found to inflict by themselves an illness of autoimmune nature, defined as ‘the adjuvant diseases’. The debatable question of silicone as an adjuvant and connective tissue diseases, as well as the Gulf War syndrome and macrophagic myofaciitis which followed multiple injections of aluminium-based vaccines, are presented here. Owing to the adverse effects exerted by adjuvants, there is no doubt that safer adjuvants need to be developed and incorporated into future vaccines.”

https://lup.sagepub.com/content/18/13/1217.short

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