According to NSW Goverment, vaccination is the best way to protect a child from serious diseases. If most children are vaccinated this also protects those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who can’t be vaccinated because of medical conditions.
The NSW Immunisation Schedule sets out the age-appropriate vaccines for children. All vaccines on the schedule at each age point up to 4 years of age, with the exception of Rotarix and the birth dose of hepatitis B, are required to be fully vaccinated at each age point.
Under the NSW Public Health Act 2010, an immunisation record must be provided in order to enrol your child as follows:
- An Immunisation History Statement showing your child’s immunisations are up to date (if your child has a medical contraindication for a specific vaccine(s) a Medical Contraindication Form will also be required), or;
- A Medical Contraindication Form if your child is unable to be immunised with any vaccines due to medical reasons, or;
- A Conscientious Objection Form (or certified ACIR letter) if your child is unable to be immunised due to religious or philosophical reasons. Please, be aware that from 1 January 2016, NSW Health is introducing an Interim Vaccination Objection Form for Enrolment in NSW Child Care Centres for use in 2016. Parents with an objection to vaccination who wish to enrol their child in child care from 1 January 2016 will have to present the new form that has been co-signed by them and a general practitioner (GP) or authorised nurse immuniser (ANI) to the child care centre at enrolment. The Commonwealth has also updated the Medicare Immunisation Medical Exemption Form to allow for an exemption due to natural immunity to a disease. Or;
- An Immunisation History Form where an immunisation provider has certified that your child is catching up their immunisations.
Other immunisation records, such as the Blue Book, a GP Letter or an overseas immunisation record are not acceptable. Immunisation History Statements are sent to each parent/guardian after their child turns 18 months and 4 years of age.
You can obtain one at any time by contacting Medicare:
- By telephone on 1800 653 809
- By email on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/online
- In person at your local Medicare office, Centrelink office or Child Support Service Centre.
Unimmunised children may need to stay at home during a disease outbreak. This is to protect the child and to also stop the spread of disease in the community.