Immunisation policy and governance

Learn which expert groups advise the Australian Government on immunisation policy and regulations.

We work with key stakeholders to protect the health of Australians and manage immunisation programs and policies in line with the Government's preventive health framework. Our priorities are to:

  • Manage the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • ensure essential vaccines are available
  • develop immunisation policy
  • provide technical advice on immunisation
  • liaise with the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) on the use of vaccines.

The National Immunisation Strategy 2019-2024 outlines strategic priorities and corresponding actions to maintain and improve the successful delivery of the NIP. The strategy focuses on 8 strategic priority areas to complement and strengthen the NIP.

Advice from experts ensures good policy, governance and regulations about immunisation.

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises the Minister for Health on administering vaccines in Australia. The Group’s membership includes technical experts, a consumer representative, a nurse and general practitioners.

Therapeutic Goods Administration

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) works to protect the health of the Australian community through the regulation of therapeutic goods, including vaccines.

The TGA rigorously assesses all vaccines before they can be used in Australia. The TGA will only register a vaccine for use in Australia if its benefits outweigh its risks.

The TGA is informed by the advice of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines.

The TGA also monitors vaccines for safety after they are supplied in Australia. 

Advisory Committee on Vaccines

The Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV) provides independent medical and scientific advice to the Minister for Health and the TGA. Its advice focuses on the safety, quality and effectiveness of vaccines supplied in Australia.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is an independent expert body appointed by the Australian Government. Members include doctors, health professionals, health economists and consumer representatives. The National Health Act 1953 requires a recommendation from the PBAC before a vaccine can be provided through the National Immunisation Program.

ATAGI advise the PBAC on clinical effectiveness of a vaccine in a population wide program.

National Health and Medical Research Council

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provides funding for research to improve medical treatment and the health outcomes of Australians, including the approval of the Australia Immunisation Handbook.

Australian Immunisation Handbook

The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice.

ATAGI develops the vaccine recommendations and the NHMRC approves them.

Listing new vaccines on the National Immunisation Program

Before a vaccine becomes available on the NIP it is:

  • registered with the TGA
  • recommended by the PBAC
  • priced by agreement between Health and the pharmaceutical company
  • approved by government, who also make changes to relevant laws
  • purchased.

Learn more about the process for listing vaccines on the NIP.

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