Three big changes to the vaccine program in 2015

In 2015 three major changes to the vaccine program will impact on parents of secondary school students:
1. The Bendigo City Council’s immunisation service may contact you about the secondary school vaccine program. Schools have been authorised to provide parent contact details to local councils for this purpose. Contact the school on 5443 2133 by 3rd March 2015 if you do not want your contact details given to the Bendigo City Council.
2. In 2015 only, the vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough will be offered to all students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. From 2016, this vaccine will be offered to Year 7 students only. This will provide earlier protection from these diseases.
3. The time-limited human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program for Year 9 boys was completed in December 2014. HPV vaccine will continue to be offered to all students (both male and female) in Year 7 from 2015.

Look out for the vaccine consent form/s coming home from school with your child. You need to read, complete and return the form/s regardless of whether your child is being immunised at school.
To learn more about the changes, the diseases, the vaccines, or how you can prepare your child for vaccination go to immunehero.health.vic.gov.au. Or contact the school nurse, Sarah for further information and assistance.

Secondary School Vaccinations:

Every day immunisation saves lives and makes it possible for Victorians to live free from the illness and the disability caused by many infectious diseases. Immunisation not only protects those people who have been immunised, but it also protects those in the community who may be unable to receive vaccines themselves, by reducing the spread of disease.

Immunisation is a proven and safe way to be protected against diseases that cause serious illness and sometimes death.

The protection provided by some childhood vaccines fades and needs to be boosted in adolescence. Adolescents are at an age when a vaccine will be most effective and provides protection before they may be exposed to a disease. Sometimes a new vaccine becomes available

Who will give the vaccines in school?

Each year local councils contact all the secondary schools in their area to arrange for immunisation nurses to vaccinate at the school.

What do I need to do?

  • Look out for the immunisation information and consent form that your child should bring home from school.
  • Read the information, complete the consent form and return it to school as quickly as possible.
  • If you consent, explain to your child that immunisation is important and everyone must have these vaccines when they are adolescents for protection against disease.
  • Complete and return the consent form to the school regardless of whether your child is to be vaccinated or not in the school-based program. There is a space on the form for you to decline the immunisation for your child through the school-based program.
  • Encourage your child to eat breakfast on the day the immunisation session is scheduled and to wear loose clothing so that the upper arm below the shoulder is easily seen (the injection is given into the upper arm).

What if my child misses their vaccines at school?

You can take your child to a local council immunisation service by contacting your council.

You can also make an appointment with your doctor to catch-up a missed vaccine. It is important for your child to follow up with the missed vaccine as soon as possible so they will be eligible to receive the vaccine for free. If the missed dose is part of a course of vaccines and is given soon after the missed school session, your child can usually finish the course at school with the rest of their class.

What if I prefer my child to have their school-based vaccines elsewhere?

You can take your child to your doctor or your local council to receive these vaccines for free.  The vaccines are only available for free at equivalent ages to the Year level the vaccine is offered at schools.

Some vaccines may need to be ordered in advance for your child, so inform your doctor of the vaccine you are wanting when you arrange the appointment. Vaccines will not be free outside of the ages noted above.  Note, although the vaccines are free, your doctor may charge a consultation fee.

Where can I get more information?