From 1 January 2016, two separate, new pieces of legislation came into effect in Victoria aimed at improving vaccination rates to reduce the prevalence and spread of vaccine preventable disease.
No Jab, No Pay (Commonwealth legislation)
Only parents of children less than 20 years of age, who are fully immunised or on a recognised catch-up schedule, can receive the Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement. Families will be informed by Centrelink if their child/children do not meet the immunisation requirements for family assistance payments, and will be encouraged to speak with their immunisation provider about updating their vaccination records or commencing an appropriate vaccination catch-up schedule.
No Jab No Play (Victorian legislation)
All parents/guardians seeking to enrol their child at an early childhood service (day care, kindergarten, occasional care & family day care) in Victoria will be required to provide evidence that the child is fully immunised for their age or on a recognised vaccination catch-up program.
The immunisation requirements for both pieces of legislation are the same. The relevant vaccinations are those under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). These vaccinations must be recorded on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (AIR).
From 1 January 2016 all children must be:
- fully immunised for their age OR
- on a vaccination catch-up program OR
- unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons
- Children with medical contraindications or natural immunity for certain diseases will continue to be exempt from the requirements.
- Conscientious objection and vaccination objection on non-medical grounds will no longer be a valid exemption from immunisation requirements.
To support these changes, the AIR is being expanded. From 1 January 2016 immunisation providers will be able to submit the details of vaccinations given to persons aged less than 20 years to be recorded on the AIR.
Free Catch-Up, from 1 January 2016
For children less than 10 years of age. All states and territories will be providing free catch-up NIP vaccines for all children less than 10 years of age on an on-going basis. Children overdue for vaccines on the NIP should be commenced on a catch-up schedule covering the vaccines usually administered by 5 years of age.
The process for ordering catch-up vaccine will be the same process used by immunisation providers for other Commonwealth or state immunisation programmes.
For young persons 10-19 years of age, of families currently receiving family assistance payments. Parents who wish to immunise their children in order to continue to receive family assistance payments will have access to free catch-up vaccines for a time-limited period (1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017). As a number of the vaccines required for this age group are not registered for use in those aged 10 years and over, alternative vaccines will be made available to vaccination providers also at no-cost for a time-limited period.
Immunisation catch-up tool for 10 to 19 year olds The tool provides vaccine catch-up plans for children from 10 to 19 years of age with no documented history of vaccine administration. You can download the Victorian Immunisation Catch Up Tool from the Health Vic website.
Updated Government funded vaccine order form for 10 to 19 year olds A ready to order list of additional catch-up vaccine brands for the 10 to 19 year old adolescents as part of the No Jab No Pay. The catch-up vaccines include: Boostrix-IPV, Adacel, Adacel Polio, IPOL, NeisVacC*, H-B-Vax-II Paediatric/Adult and Engerix Paediatric/Adult. (*NeisVacC supply constrained until late January – order may be placed on back order).
Download the order form from the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services website.
The updated Government funded vaccine order form is now double sided. Please email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Australian Government will provide funding of $26.4 million over four years to increase national immunisation coverage rates. Activities under this initiative will include:
- An additional $6 incentive payment made to doctors and other immunisation providers who identify children beyond two months overdue for their vaccinations and catch them up.
- Providing a range of communication activities, tools and resources to increase awareness and understanding of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and to address parents’ concerns regarding immunisation, including dispelling common myths. Tools to assist doctors in having these important conversations will also be developed.