Ask LH: What Is The Right Vaccination Schedule For My Child?

Hey Lifehacker, With all the talk of vaccines and immunisation in the media, what child vaccinations are a one-off and which ones need to be boosted or reapplied to protect themselves and others? Thanks, Parent Protecting Kids

Dear PPK,

You'll find all the answers in the National Immunisation Program Schedule, which is accessible on the Australian Department of Health's website. It lists the recommended vaccines for all age groups, starting from birth through to 65 and over.

We've reproduced the child-relevant information below:

    Birth

  • Hepatitis B (hepB)

    2 months

  • Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)
  • Rotavirus

    4 months

  • Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)
  • Rotavirus

    6 months

  • Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)
  • Rotavirus
    12 months

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b and Meningococcal C (Hib-MenC)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

    18 months

  • Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) (MMRV)

    4 years

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough) and inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (DTPa-IPV)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) (to be given only if MMRV vaccine was not given at 18 months)

School programs

(contact your State or Territory Health Department for details)  

    10–15 years

  • Hepatitis B (hepB)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa)

At-risk groups

    6 months and over

  • Influenza (flu) (people with medical conditions placing them at risk of serious complications of influenza)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV) (medically at risk)
    12–18 months

    Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV) (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in high risk areas)

    12–24 months

  • Hepatitis A (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in high risk areas)
    4 years

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (23vPPV) (medically at risk)

As you can see, plenty of child vaccines do require top-ups while others are one-offs. Provided your child gets immunised at the appropriate time, you don't really need to keep tabs on which vaccines need to be repeated and which ones don't. If you get confused or forget, just contact your GP who will have all your child's vaccinations on record.

Bear in mind that additional vaccines may be required in certain circumstances. For example, your kids may need the malaria vaccine if you treat them to an exotic overseas holiday.

As this can be a touchy subject in some circles, we ask readers to keep things civil and factual in the comments. (i.e. — Whether you get pricked or not, try not to act like one!)

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Why would someone not ask a health professional about this?

      Why ask an educated professional when you can get a solid opinion from random strangers on the Internet?

      The health professional might fail to inform you of the role of the Illuminati in organising vaccinations! You could find your child unexpectedly in the service of Greater Powers if you're not careful.

      Last edited 25/03/15 6:37 pm

    When is it safe to expose your child to unvaccinated children? I suppose after all the main ones at 12 months?

    When I have a kid they're going to be a pincushion for the first...50 years of their life.

    Vaccines are one of the best health measures we have.

    Two good references for this are your GP or your local maternal health centre
    Your question didn't make it clear if you have or a expecting a little one but another important thing to consider is that both the parents and anybody who will regulary be looking after/seeing the bub should get a whooping cough booster before the bub is born.
    This helps reduce the risk of them catching whooping cough before they are old enough to be immunized

    It's now recommended that whooping cough vaccine is done at 6 weeks due to the whooping cough prevalence in the community... due to morons breeding and not vaccinating their children.

    I don't know that any GP would have an immunisation record for a child unless they had a reason - they aren't normally involved so they would not have this information unless you offered it.

    All that info is provided to you when you have a baby so if you haven't had one yet no need to worry.

    Perhaps they were looking for validation of the delayed schedule.

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