Registers allow general practitioners (GPs) and other vaccination providers to see if a patient needs a vaccination or if one is overdue. Registers also provide data on immunisation coverage rates by showing the number of Australian’s who have received the vaccinations recommended for their age and the area they live in. This data is then used to identify areas of low coverage so targeted programs can be run to improve vaccination rates in these areas. Data from the registers also allows vaccination providers to identify and notify individuals who may be at risk if a disease outbreak occurs. For more information about how the data in the registers is used refer to the Data Hub section of this website.
Australia operates two national immunisation registers - the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register (HPV Register).
The registers capture information such as:
- Identifying information including name, date of birth, gender, Medicare number, contact details and Indigenous status
- the day the vaccination was given
- the type of vaccination given
- the name and contact details of the vaccination provider
- if a person is participating in a vaccine trial
- if a person is exempt from all or some vaccinations because a GP has assessed them as having natural immunity to a specific disease or if they have been assessed as not being able to have a vaccine for valid medical reasons
Australian Immunisation Register
The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) was established in 1996 to record vaccinations given to Australian children up to seven years of age. ACIR was used by vaccination providers to check if a child is due or overdue for a vaccination. ACIR also produced an Immunisation History Statement which is sent out once the childhood vaccination schedule has been completed (usually around four and a half years of age). In January 2016 the register expanded to show the childhood vaccinations history for adolescents up to the age of 20.
On the 30 September 2016 ACIR became the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR captures all National Immunisation Program (NIP), and most privately purchased vaccines, given to people of all ages.
The list of vaccines AIR can record can be viewed on the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) website at Vaccinations accepted in the AIR. An individual’s immunisation history can also be checked in the AIR.
The data in the AIR will grow over time as vaccinations are progressively given and the information collected. A record will automatically be created for everyone who is registered with Medicare. If someone is not registered with Medicare but receives a vaccination in Australia, a record will then be created for this person.
For people 20 years and older, the AIR does not contain historical vaccination records but will capture vaccinations given from its establishment.
The change to the AIR lays the foundation for a more holistic capture of vaccination data with a longer term objective of providing a whole of life immunisation history. For more information regarding the expansion of the registers view the Expansion of Registers page in this website.
National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register
The National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register (HPV Register) works alongside AIR by recording when young individuals receive the HPV vaccination through school based programs. Individuals on the HPV Register are sent a HPV History Statement when they have completed the full course or are sent a reminder if it has not been completed.
As well as providing history statements and overdue reminders, the HPV Register is used to monitor and measure the effect of the vaccine on HPV-related diseases such as cervical cancer.
Further information about the HPV Register can be located at HPV Vaccination Register.
Accessing information in the registers
Only a limited range of parties are authorised to access information within the registers, and those who do must abide by the provisions set out in the Privacy Act 1988, the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 and the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register privacy statement.
For more information about access to and the privacy of the registers view the Privacy, Access and Legislation section of this website.
For information about accessing immunisation history statements from the registers view the Immunisation History Statements section of this website.