Vaccination guidelines for Australian kids

How do they work?

A vaccine contains either parts of infecting organisms, or weakened (so they can not cause infection) organisms. The vaccine thus stimulates the child's immune system to produce antibodies (the immune system "thinks" the body is being infected). Should the child be exposed to the infecting organism in the future, these antibodies will be available to fight off the infection and protect the child.

Are they safe?

Extensive medical research has shown that immunisation is safe. Yes, there are some potential side effects, but these are either very mild or very rare. The National Health and Medical Research Council maintains that the benefits of immunisation far outweigh any potential downside.

The Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule looks like this:

For immunisations at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months, two options for the use of combination vaccines are recommended. This means that different vaccines (Paths) are used, depending on the State you live in.




Hep B






Path 1



Path 2



2 months



DTPa-HepB and Hib and OPV



DTPa and Hib (PRP-OMP)-HepB and OPV



4 months



DTPa-HepB and Hib and OPV



DTPa and Hib (PRP-OMP)-HepB and OPV



6 months



DTPa-HepB and OPV



DTPa and OPV



12 months



MMR and Hib



MMR and Hib(PRP-OMP)-HepB



18 months






4 years








10-13 years


1 month later

5 months after 2nd dose



HepB (not necessary for those who already received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine)





15-19 years






HepB = Hepatitis B vaccine

DTP = Diptheria, tetanus (lock-jaw), pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine
OPV = Oral polio vaccine
Hib = Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine
MMR = Measles, Mumps, Rubella

Td = Tetanus

Certain children with chronic (ongoing) or severe illnesses may require a different immunisation schedule, so ask your doctor if you have any doubts. Your GP can also to check your child's health record to ensure he has received the correct schedule of vaccinations, and administer any missed doses.