Understanding the recent immunisation schedule changes

As of July 1 2018 the National Immunisation Program has changed to include a Meningococcal ACWY shot to be given at 12 months of age. There are also some changes involving the Pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type b doses.


What if my child had already turned 12-months by July 1 2018?

There is no formal catch-up in place but you if you wish for your child to be protected against Meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y, you can purchase the vaccine privately. If they were already given the Meningococcal C vaccine we need to wait 8 weeks before giving the ACWY shot.


What if I already paid for my child to have the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine before they were 12-months old?

They are recommended to have a booster dose in the second year of life, i.e. after 12-months of age (at least 8 weeks after any previous dose)


Can the new vaccine be given earlier than 12-months of age?

Yes, if ordered by a doctor. It is funded by the government at 12-months of age however studies show that it is safe and provides immunity from 6-weeks of age.


What if my child has already received the full course of Meningococcal ACWY prior to 12-months of age?

They still need a booster dose at ≥12-months (always ensure the booster is given a minimum of 8 weeks after the previous dose)


What if I started vaccinating my child privately prior to 12-months of age with a different brand (e.g. Menveo)?

It is preferable to complete the course with the same vaccine brand. However, the government funded vaccine can be used at 12-months even when the schedule was commenced with a different brand.

All children 12-months of age will be offered a Prevenar 13 (Pneumococcal vaccine) from July 1 2018, even if they have previously had 3 doses in their infant schedule. This is safe and recommended to reduce the risk of invasive Pneumococcal disease


What about Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease?

All children born before July 1 2017 will require a 4th dose of Hib at 12 months of age (ActHIB). Any child, regardless of their age should have received 4 doses of Hib by the time they are 19-months old.


For more information see your doctor or visit the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre.