Routine childhood immunisation

Childhood immunisation is a safe, free and effective way to protect your kids from serious diseases. On time vaccination will give your child the best protection.

Childhood immunisation schedule

The childhood immunisation schedule outlines the recommended vaccines for your child from birth to age 4. These are available free to children under the National Immunisation Program.

This helps to protect them from the most serious childhood infections, some of which may threaten their lives.

There are extra vaccines recommended for some children who are more at risk. You should talk to your health professional to see if they recommend your child get these vaccines. 

Children with certain medical conditions are eligible for additional vaccines for free such as pneumococcal and meningococcal. Speak to your vaccination provider to see if your child requires additional vaccines.

See the schedule for vaccines recommended for your child

Vaccinate on time 

It is important to vaccinate on time to give your child the best protection against harmful diseases. Follow the Childhood Immunisation Schedule and set a reminder to book your child’s next appointment. 

Being just a few weeks late puts your child and those around them at risk of contracting serious disease. ‘On time’ means on (or as close as possible to) the due date in the schedule.

Who can get free vaccines

These vaccines are free under the National Immunisation Program for children who are on a Medicare Card or are eligible to be on one.

All immunisations linked to family assistance payments are free.

While the routine vaccines are free, your vaccination provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. Check if there are any fees when making your appointment.

Free catch-up vaccinations

If your child is overdue or has missed a scheduled vaccination, talk to your vaccination provider about catching up. A range of catch-up childhood vaccines are available for free up until age 20.

Family assistance payments

To receive some family assistance payments such as Family Tax Benefit (Part A) and Child Care Subsidies, your child must:

  • be up-to-date with certain vaccinations
  • be on an approved catch-up schedule
  • have an approved exception.

Vaccines are safe

All vaccines available in Australia go through a rigorous testing process, ensuring they are safe and effective before approval.

There is also an independent process for the listing of vaccines listings on the National Immunisation Program.

Once in use, vaccine monitoring continues for safety. Reports on adverse events or reactions are collected and investigated if there is a suspected problem.

Find out more about vaccine safety, monitoring and ingredients:

Date last updated: