Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Australia 2006–2010

3.2 The Australian National Immunisation Program 2007 to 2013

Page last updated: 19 December 2013

The current NIP schedule applicable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is presented in Table 3.2.1 below. Changes since 2007 are also outlined below.

Table 3.2.1: The Australian National Immunisation Program Schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, effective 1 July 2013
Age Vaccine

* For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants living in areas of high risk.

† Third dose is dependent on vaccine brand used.

‡ For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in areas of higher risk (Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia).

§ For children with medical risk conditions.

|| Annual vaccination for those in whom vaccine is recommended.

¶ For people medically at risk aged >6 months.

** Should be given only if there is no prior history of disease or vaccination.

†† For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people medically at risk.

‡‡ See recommendations regarding revaccination with 23vPPV in The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th edition.

§§ For people aged ≥65 years.

|||| For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

See list of Abbreviations for vaccine descriptions.

Birth
HepB                       BCG* ,||||
2 months
HepB DTPa Hib IPV       13vPCV     Rotavirus    
4 months
HepB DTPa Hib IPV       13vPCV     Rotavirus    
6 months
HepB DTPa Hib IPV       13vPCV     Rotavirus    
12 months
    Hib   MMR   MenCCV 13vPCV‡,§   Influenza||,¶      
12–18 months
                HepA‡,||||      
18 months
        MMRV            
18–24 months
                HepA‡,||||      
4 years
  DTPa   IPV       23vPPV§        
10–13 years
HepB**         VV**            
12–13 years
  dTpa                 HPV  
15–17 years
                       
15–49 years
              23vPPV††,‡‡,||||   Influenza||,||||      
>50 years
              23vPPV‡‡,§§   Influenza||,§§      

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Children

Rotavirus vaccination was introduced to the NIP in July 2007. Rotavirus vaccination is funded for all children born after 1 May 2007. The rotavirus vaccine schedule is dependent on the brand of vaccine given, and includes at least 2 doses, one at 2 months and one at 4 months of age, with a third dose at 6 months of age for the brand that requires a 3-dose schedule. In the Northern Territory, the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (10vPCV) was used instead of the 7-valent vaccine (7vPCV) from October 2009 to September 2011 in a 4-dose schedule, at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age. The 13-valent conjugate vaccine (13vPCV) replaced other pneumococcal vaccines due at 2, 4 and 6 months of age in September 2011 in the Northern Territory, and in July 2011 in all other jurisdictions. A catch-up program for children <3 years of age was also conducted in 2011. From October 2012, 13vPCV also replaced the other pneumococcal booster vaccines due at 18–24 months of age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. From July 2013, the combined measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) at 18 months of age replaced the 18-month varicella and 4-year MMR doses for all children.26

Adolescents

Funding of HPV vaccination was announced by the Australian Government in November 2006. A quadrivalent HPV vaccine was added to the NIP in April 2007, and an alternative bivalent HPV vaccine was subsequently added in July 2008. The national HPV program is delivered to girls aged 12–13 years via school-based immunisation. A catch-up program for females aged 14–26 years was implemented between 2007 and 2009. From 2013, the national HPV program was expanded to include boys aged 12–13 years, with catch-up vaccination provided for boys aged 14–15 years for a 2-year period.26,121

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Adults

Since January 2010, seasonal influenza vaccine became available under the NIP for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥15 years, pregnant women, and people aged ≥6 months with underlying medical conditions which predispose them to severe influenza.26

Additional or specific vaccination recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

There are a number of differences in the vaccine recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians compared with those for other Australians. These differences are due to the much higher rates of disease suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and these epidemiological differences may occur nationally or within limited geographic areas or communities.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is recommended at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander neonates in areas of high risk (the Northern Territory, Queensland and northern South Australia), for the prevention of disseminated tuberculosis.26

Hepatitis A vaccine is funded under the NIP for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 12–24 months living in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, due to historically higher rates of hepatitis A infection in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in these states, particularly within rural and remote communities.26

The 23vPPV was funded under the NIP as a pneumococcal booster vaccine at 18–24 months of age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia. In October 2012, it was replaced by 13vPCV, given at 12–18 months of age.26

The 23vPPV is also funded nationally for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged ≥50 years and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–49 years who have an underlying condition which predisposes them to invasive pneumococcal disease.26

The seasonal influenza vaccine is funded under the NIP for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥15 years.26

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