From 1 July 2018 there will be changes to the childhood immunisation schedule designed to improve protection against meningococcal, pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b diseases.
The changes are being implemented following recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and other clinical experts.
Changes to early childhood vaccinations include:
- Infant pneumococcal vaccination (Prevenar 13®) will now be given at age 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4 and 12 months instead of at 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4 and 6 months.
- Children at a higher risk will continue to receive this vaccine at age 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4, 6 and 12 months as recommended prior to this change.
- The combined meningococcal C conjugate-Haemophilus influenzae type b (Menitorix®) vaccine currently scheduled at age 12 months will no longer be given. Instead, it will be replaced by 2 vaccines:
- A dose of meningococcal ACWY conjugate vaccine (Nimenrix®) given at age 12 months.
- A dose of monovalent Haemophilus influenzae type b (ActHIB®) vaccine at age 18 months – this is the 4th Hib- containing vaccine in the NIP schedule and serves as a booster dose.
Resources for vaccination providers include:
- NIP childhood schedule changes – clinical advice fact sheet for vaccination providers
- NIP – schedule card (landscape)
- NIP – schedule card (portrait)
- ATAGI clinical advice to support changes to the NIP from 1 July 2018
Resources for parents and carers include:
- NIP childhood schedule changes – fact sheet for parents and carers
- NIP childhood schedule changes – poster for parents and carers
- NIP childhood schedule – magnet card
- NIP schedule card (portrait).
For further information about meningococcal, pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b please refer to the relevant chapters in the online Australian Immunisation Handbook or contact your local state or territory health service.