What are catch-up immunisations?
Catch-up immunisations aim to provide optimal protection against disease as quickly as possible by completing the vaccinations recommended for a person.
Immunisation providers actively review a patient’s vaccination history and give the appropriate catch-up vaccines.
If a person has not received all the vaccines in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule appropriate for their age, plan and document a catch-up schedule.
Call your state and territory health department for assistance if required.
Planning a catch-up schedule
Use the Australian Immunisation Handbook to plan a catch-up schedule. Information in the Handbook includes:
- worksheets and tables to help you plan a catch-up schedule
- minimum age for first doses of vaccines in young children
- number of doses a person should have had if they were on schedule
- minimum intervals between doses.
Catch-up calculator for people under 10 years old
The Australian Immunisation Handbook hosts an online catch-up calculator for children aged under 10 years old, for NIP vaccines. The catch-up calculator should be used in conjunction with the guidance provided in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
Who can get free catch-up immunisations?
People up to 19 years old, refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age can get NIP Schedule vaccines for free. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood.
For advice on catch-up immunisations for all people aged 10 to 19 years, and refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over:
- Fact sheet: Free catch-up vaccines for 10 to 19 year olds
- Fact sheet: Free catch-up vaccines for refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over
People over the age of 19 who have not received all vaccines may still benefit from a catch-up schedule; however this is not funded under the NIP. Some vaccines are funded under state programs.
People with medical risk factors
Adults and children with medical risk factors may need extra doses of vaccine incorporated in their catch-up schedule.
See vaccination for special risk groups in the Australian Immunisation Handbook for more information.