Children aged <7 years

Data on vaccination coverage from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) were provided by Medicare Australia. The ACIR, established in 1996 and administered by the Australian Government Department of Health, is a national register of vaccination doses provided to children <7 years of age. The ACIR includes records for all children who have been registered with Medicare (approximately 99% of Australian children),115 as well as children who are not registered but for whom details of vaccination doses have been reported to the register.115,116 Details of vaccination doses provided are reported to the ACIR by vaccination providers.

ACIR data as at June 2011 were used for this report, in most instances using 12-month birth cohorts. Each cohort includes children born between 1 January and 31 December for each respective 12-month period, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The use of the term ‘fully vaccinated’ in this report is consistent with its use by Medicare Australia, at the time of publication, for eligibility for incentive payments for carers and immunisation service providers. It does not necessarily include all vaccines provided under the NIP at particular schedule points. ‘Fully vaccinated’ at 12 months of age is defined as receipt of 3 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib, hepatitis B and polio, but does not include rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines, which are also due at the same schedule points. ‘Fully vaccinated’ at 24 months of age includes Hib and hepatitis B, and 1 dose of measles, mumps, rubella, but does not include meningococcal C or varicella vaccines. ‘Fully vaccinated’ at 5 years (60 months) of age includes a fourth dose of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio and a second dose of measles, mumps and rubella. However, from July 2013, additional vaccines will be included in these calculations: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, but not rotavirus, at 12 months of age, and meningococcal and varicella vaccines at 24 months of age. This is discussed in more detail in Appendix A. Coverage estimates for the ‘old’ and ‘new’ definitions are included in this report.

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Adolescents and adults

Vaccination uptake data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, derived from the 2004–05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey, was provided in the previous report in this series.13 At the time of writing, more recent data were not available, with the exception of limited information on influenza vaccine uptake among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in the 2009 national adult vaccination survey.117

Records of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination are captured and reported by the National HPV Vaccination Program Register (NHVPR),118-120 as this vaccine is administered to adolescents beyond the 7 year cut-off age of the ACIR. At the time of writing, specific HPV vaccination uptake data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have not been published.