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Childhood vaccinations

Why childhood immunisation is important

Immunisation is important because it helps to protect your child from serious infectious diseases, some of which can be life threatening.

Immunisation is also good for you and your child because it stops infectious diseases spreading in the community. Sometimes, immunisation can get rid of these diseases completely, as in the case of smallpox.

This happens through herd immunity. Herd immunity is when enough people in the community are immunised against a disease, and the spread of the bacteria or virus that causes the disease either slows down or stops completely. We need herd immunity to protect vulnerable children who might not be able to get immunised because they’re too young or they have a serious illness – for example, a weakened immune system.

GPs can give other immunisations that aren’t on the NIP schedule, like those needed by children with medical conditions, as well as some travel immunisations.

The Australian Government funds the immunisations on the NIP schedule.

We currently directly bill all children under 16. This will mean, if you hold a current Medicare, Medibank, AHM, Allianz or BUPA card there will be no out of pocket fee

If your child needs extra immunisations that aren’t part of the NIP schedule – for example, the annual influenza vaccine for a healthy child, or travel vaccines we have these vaccines available in our clinic. The costs of vaccines vary depending on the type of vaccine

Your child’s immunisation history and the Australian Immunisation Register

Your child’s immunisation history is recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Your child’s immunisation history statement is a useful personal record. You can use it as proof that your child is up to date with recommended immunisations. You might need this proof to enrol your child at child care or when entering Primary School

Your child is put onto the AIR automatically once he’s enrolled in Medicare. And you can request your child’s immunisation history statement at any time through your Medicare online account on myGov, by asking your GP, or by calling the AIR on 1800 653 809.

You can also give your GP permission to access your child’s immunisation history on the AIR. This can help with planning what immunisations your child needs and when.

Flu vaccinations

The UNSW Health Service has stock of flu vaccines for staff, students and their families

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated).

UNSW provides vaccines free of charge to all staff and students who hold a current Medicare card. For staff that do not have Medicare they will be charged a small amount that they get fully reimbursed by their insurance.  Please call the Health Service and book your bulk billed appointment on 9385 5425.

 The National Immunisation Program (NIP) also covers the cost for family members, partners and children for the following groups

  • All people aged 6 months to less than 5 years (this cohort is newly eligible in 2020)
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
  • All people aged 65 years and over
  • People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

For more information on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2020, refer to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s Statement. Further information about the Flu Vaccine refer to NSW Health or Department of Health.

Please note: if you have already had the 2020 Flu vaccine as part of the UNSW vaccination program and wish to have a second one, this will not be covered by UNSW and there will be a fee of $20.

Why is the flu Vaccine so important this year?

We are strongly recommending everyone is vaccinated this year. The flu won’t prevent you from getting COVID-19 but it will reduce the number of people who get the flu and therefore the number of people needing hospital beds as a result of severe flu, limiting the impact on the health system. It is also possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time which will likely cause significantly worse symptoms.

Family members, partners and children of staff who don’t fall into the categories above still can have the flu vaccination at the Health Service, the cost is $20. Get your flu vaccination done today!

Flu fact: You can’t catch influenza from the flu shot.


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It is the most common liver infection in the world and is usually passed from mother to baby or through exposure to infected blood during medical procedures. It can also be passed during unprotected sex, sharing needles, sharing razors or in a fight with someone infected with hepatitis B. If left untreated it can cause liver cancer. If diagnosed it is easily managed under the care of a doctor. Hepatitis NSW has more information about Hep B and treatment options.

Hepatitis B is prevented by a vaccine. To obtain maximum protection against hepatitis B, adults should receive three doses of the vaccine at zero, 1 and 6 month intervals.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an acute (short-term but quite severe) infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is passed through the faecal-oral route usually through contaminated food, water or cooking and eating utensils.

It is recommended that people travelling to countries where infection is common (Asia, Africa, South-Pacific, Central and South America) be vaccinated. Protection begins within 14-21 days after the first vaccine dose. A

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines

The HPV vaccine protects against certain types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that affect both men and women.

HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection which usually causes no symptoms and goes away by itself, but can sometimes cause serious illnesses. Almost all cases of genital warts and cervical cancer are due to HPV.

The vaccine provides protection from HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 and protection is expected to be long-lasting.

The vaccine helps prevent 70% of cervical cancers, most of the genital cancers in men caused by HPV infection and 90% of genital warts in men and women. The vaccine works best if it is given before any sexual contact occurs

If you need more information, visit or phone UNSW Health Service on 9385 5425. You can also call the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811 or the Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

If your language is not included, call the Telephone Interpretation Service on 13 14 50 and ask to speak to the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811.

The vaccine is given in three does, usually across a six-month period. Vaccinations are spaced two months apart for the first and second dose, and 4 months for the second and third dose. If you cannot stay to this schedule, talk to one of our GP’s.

Medical student compliance checks

NSW Health requires that all medical students placed in any of its facilities are fully compliant with its requirements.  This applies to students undertaking clinical placements or students who require access to its facilities, which includes all UNSW Medicine teaching hospitals.

UNSW Medicine is required to enter information about all medical students into ClinConnect, a NSW Health database for managing clinical training placements in public hospitals. Information reported to ClinConnect includes student name, student number, student e-mail address, gender and date of birth.

Prior to the first clinical training session in Year 1, students will need to provide certain documentation to NSW Health staff at an on-campus checking session.  If not fully compliant with their requirements, students will be given instructions on what to do before commencing clinical training.  UNSW Medicine cannot overrule the decision of health staff and clinical training will be delayed until compliance is reached.

Students must note that clinical placements are a substantial and essential element in the UNSW Medicine program. Students who fail to satisfy the requirements of NSW Health at any point during their enrolment in the program may be excluded from undertaking a clinical placement. This will delay progress in the program and may ultimately lead to exclusion from the program.

For more information and to download the appropriate documentation, click here

Travel vaccinations

Our GP's offer education and advice to minimise health risks while travelling and provide medications and immunisations. Common requirements are prevention of malaria or altitude sickness, treatments for diarrhoea and allergies. We are also an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic and provide you with yellow fever vaccination certification in the form approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is essential for travel to areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Please make sure you book in for your yellow fever vaccination no less than 10 days before entering a risk area.

Administered by trained registered nurses, our available vaccines include the routine; measles, mumps, rubella, hep-b and influenza, to the more complicated, such as yellow fever and associated international certifications for travel.

Our team will only recommend immunisation based on the individual's requirement, itinerary of the traveller, their health status, when the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the associated risk of complications arising from vaccine side-effects, and when the risk of disease and illness is indicated.

For more information on travel vaccinations check out this link.

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