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Immunisation frequently asked questions

Bayside City Council provides an immunisation service which is free for infants, children, adolescents, adults and special risk groups covered by the National Immunisation Program. On this page, find out about the different vaccines available, vaccine reactions, travel vaccines, no jab no play, and more.

Infants and Children

Age Diseases
Birth Hepatitis B
2 months (can be given from 6 weeks) Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, Haemophilus influenzae type b,
Pneumococcal, Rotavirus
4 months Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal,
Rotavirus
6 months
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, Haemophilus influenzae type b
12 months Measles, mumps, rubella, Pneumococcal, 
Meningococcal ACWY
18 months Measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, Haemophilus Influenza
4 years 
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis
12–13 years or Year 7 of secondary school Human papillomavirus (HPV), Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
Year 10 Meningococcal ACWY

Pregnant women and new parents

Whooping cough vaccine

The most effective way to protect young babies from whooping cough is for you to be vaccinated during pregnancy. By getting vaccinated, you pass on protective antibodies through the placenta to your baby that protects them in their first few months of life, when they are most vulnerable. Vaccination during pregnancy is very effective – it has been shown to reduce whooping cough disease in babies aged less than 3 months by over 90%.

We provide free whooping cough vaccine for the following groups:

  • Pregnant women from 20 weeks gestation during every pregnancy (ideally 20-32weeks)
  • Partners of women in the third trimester if the partner has not received the vaccine in the last 10 years.
  • Parents/guardians of a baby under 6 months of age that have not received a pertussis booster in the last 10 years.
Influenza vaccination

Influenza vaccine is recommended for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.

It helps to protect both mother and unborn baby from complications associated with the influenza virus during pregnancy. Complications associated with influenza include pneumonia, miscarriage and premature labour.

Protective antibodies are also passed to the newborn to help protect baby in the early months of life.

Women who received the previous year’s seasonal influenza vaccine early in their pregnancy can receive the current seasonal influenza vaccine (when it becomes available) later in the same pregnancy

Flu vaccination for children

The Victorian government funds influenza vaccine for all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years.

Children are much more likely to contract the flu in any given season compared to adults. Children under 5 have some of the highest rates of the flu and associated complications causing the most hospital admissions of all other vaccine preventable diseases in children of this age.

The flu can cause substantial illness in children, which may require a visit to the emergency department or GP due to high fever, cough, pneumonia and convulsions. Whilst rare, severe complications such encephalitis (life threatening brain inflammation) can also occur.

Not only are the flu infection rates generally highest among children, children also contribute greatly to transmission of the flu in the community.

Vaccination is proven to reduce a child’s risk of contracting the flu and suffering from its complications.

Vaccinating young children protects the wider community by reducing the amount of virus circulating in the community. It also helps protect people who are more vulnerable to serious complications from flu such as babies, older people and people with chronic medical conditions.

It’s recommended that children receive their first influenza vaccine at 6 months and annually thereafter.

Vaccination is required annually, as immunity from the vaccine decreases over time. The vaccine can change each year to cover the current circulating virus strains. It generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected after vaccination

Influenza vaccine is also recommended for older children and anyone wanting to reduce the risk of infection. For more information visit Influenza (flu) vaccine.

Year 7 and Year 10 secondary school vaccinations

Our immunisation nurses visit all secondary schools in Bayside to deliver the Secondary Schools Vaccination Program.

Students will be offered in Year 7:

  • HPV - Gardisal9 (Human Papillomavirus). Find out more about HPV - Gardisal9.
  • Boostrix (Adolescent Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis).

Students will be offered in Year 10:

Information packs are sent home with your child. Please read the information carefully, complete the consent card and send it back to school. It is important to send the card back to school even if you do not consent for the vaccines to be given.

You can download information packs or Secondary School Vaccine Program consent cards at Immune Hero

To learn more about the diseases, vaccines, and how you can prepare your child for vaccination at Immune Hero and the Better Health Channel

If you are new to Australia and are applying for enrolment to early childhood services or schools in Victoria, you will need to provide an Australian Immunisation Certificate.

Any immunisation provider (Council or GP) can notify AIR (Australian Immunisation Register) of your child's vaccinations received overseas and can also advise if there are any outstanding vaccinations. Each country varies in the number and types of vaccinations provided so it is important that these records are checked carefully by a qualified immunisation provider to ensure your child is up to date according to National Immunisation Schedule.

If you are travelling outside of Australia, it is advised you visit your GP at least one month prior to travel to get advice on vaccination for you and your children. You can find more information at the Better Health Channel website.

What is it?

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis (also known as meningococcal bacteria). These bacteria are divided into 13 strains designated by letters such as A, B, C, W and Y.

Strains B and W are currently the most common strains causing disease in Victoria. Cases of strain C have decreased since the introduction of meningococcal C vaccine to the National Immunisation Program in 2003. Different strains of bacteria have been found to cause meningococcal disease in different countries.

Who is at risk?

Children aged less than 5 years, particularly infants aged less than 1 year, have the highest rate of B strain incidence. A lesser incidence is seen in late adolescence and early adulthood, predominantly strains W and Y.  People with a poor functioning spleen or who have had their spleen removed or who have a complement disorder should also have the meningococcal B vaccine.

How it spreads and what is are the symptoms?

Meningococcal disease is spread via coughing or coming into contact with saliva from affected person. The infection can develop quickly and can cause serious illness or death. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are vital. Symptoms in infants and young children can include:

  • fever
  • refusing to feed
  • irritability, fretfulness
  • grunting or moaning
  • extreme tiredness or floppiness
  • dislike of being handled
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • turning away from light (photophobia)
  • drowsiness
  • convulsions (fits) or twitching
  • rash of red or purple pinprick spots or larger bruises.

How to prevent the infection

Meningococcal strain ACWY vaccine is available for free in Victoria as part of the National Immunisation Program delivered by Bayside City Council schedule for:

  • Children at 12 months – immunisation against meningococcal serogroup ACWY commencing for children turning 1 after the 1st July 2018
  • School students aged 15 to 19 years - immunisation against Meningococcal ACWY. We will administer the program to students in Year 10 in Bayside Secondary schools, or you can bring your student aged 15-19 along to any of our community immunisation sessions.

Meningococcal B (Bexsero) vaccine (non funded) and can be accessed through your GP, or alternatively purchased via Bayside City Council website and administered at one of our community immunisation sessions.

This vaccine is recommended for high risk groups, including:

  • Infants and young children, particularly those aged less than 2 years
  • Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
  • ATSI children from 6 weeks of age (funded) and for a limited time for ATSI children up to age 2 via a catch up program.
  • Children and adults with medical conditions that place them at a high risk of meningococcal disease, such as a poor functioning or no spleen, or following a stem cell transplant
  • Laboratory personnel who frequently handle meningococcal bacteria

Get immunised 

Book an immunisation appointment online.

Meningococcal information in different languages

See information in different languages 

Find out more

For more information about the disease visit Better Health Channel.

Council is not a COVID-19 vaccine provider.

Please check your eligibility and local vaccination sites via the Australian Government Vaccines Eligibility Checker.

If you or your child experiences any severe or unexpected reactions following any vaccination they must be reported to SAEFVIC who monitor all vaccine-related reactions in Victoria.

This can be done by contacting us on (03) 9599 4755 or you can report reactions directly via the SafeVac website.

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) keeps a record of your child's immunisations from birth.

You will automatically receive a history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) when your child turns five years old. However, if you have not received the statement or if you have misplaced your statement you can request a certificate at any time at the Medicare website.

Alternatively, you can contact Medicare on:

Make sure that Medicare and AIR have your current address details so that you receive your child's history statement. If you are moving, or have recently moved, contact them to update your contact details.

The State and Federal governments have introduced new legislation in an effort to improve childhood immunisation rates within Victoria.

No jab, no pay

Families will no longer be eligible for family assistance payments such as Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit if their child/children are not fully immunised in line with the National Immunisation Schedule or if they do not have an approved medical exemption.

No jab no play

All parents/guardians seeking to enrol their child at an early childhood service will be required to provide evidence that the child/children is/are:

  • fully immunised for their age
  • is/are on a recognised vaccination catch up program
  • has a medical reason for not being immunised.

Read more about No Jab No Play