Do the new requirements apply to existing enrolments in secondary schools?
No. New requirements to collect immunisation history information apply only to new enrolments from 1 April 2018 regardless of age.
However, while there is no requirement for schools to collect immunisationhistories for secondary students already enrolled in the school, schools maywish to consider collecting any Immunisation History Statements that arecurrently available from existing students, as any student without theappropriate records will be considered to be unimmunised.
NSW Health advice confirms that “in the event of an outbreak, or if an unimmunised enrolled student comes into contact with a vaccine preventable disease, then the public health unit medical officer will work with the school to take appropriate action to minimise the risk of transmission, including potentially excluding children listed as unimmunised. As students enrolled since 1 April 2018 move through the school years, this will progressively become less of an issue”.
Are K-12 schools required to seek an Immunisation History Statement for students moving from the school’s primary years to secondary years?
No – these students are not considered to be new enrolments.
Do the requirements apply to students over the age of 18?
Yes. The requirements apply to all new enrolments, regardless of age.
Do the requirements apply to overseas students?
Yes. The only acceptable record that a child is fully immunised for their age is the AIR Immunisation History Statement – i.e. Australian certification. Vaccination records obtained overseas may be recorded by the school for the school’s own information, but are insufficient on their own without the AIR certificate to demonstrate compliance with the requirements.
Schools should therefore consider requesting an AIR certificate with enrolment documentation for overseas/international students. Schools may also provide information for parents about the implications of not having the required records and advise them to:
- have their overseas immunisation records assessed by an Australian immunisation provider who will transfer the information to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Parents can then request an AIR Immunisation History Statement, or
- contact the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809.
If an Immunisation History Statement is subsequently provided by the AIR and the parent gives this to the school, the student’s status on the school’s immunisation register may then be updated.
How can parents access the AIR Immunisation History Statement?
The AIR automatically sends an Immunisation History Statement to parents in the mail after the child completes their 4 year old immunisations and the GP/nurse sends the information to the AIR.
Parents may obtain a copy of their child's immunisation details at any time by:
Students aged 14 years and over can request their own Immunisation History Statement from the AIR by using or creating their own Medicare online account through MyGov
Do secondary students require vaccinations in addition to those required for primary students?
No– for the purposes of enrolment requirements, the vaccinations required by NSWHealth are the same as those for primary students, and are usually completed byage 5 (or later if on a recognised catch-up schedule). However, some additionalvaccinations are recommended but are not compulsory for secondarystudents. Information about vaccination schedules for secondary school studentsis available here.