NSW Refugee Health Service
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Clinical: Immunisation

The Immunise Australia Program should be referred to for all information regarding vaccine preventable diseases in Australia.

Further information for immunisation providers is available from NSW Health.

Immunisation schedules including catch-up recommendations and vaccine information can be accessed via The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition.

A useful Immunisation Calculator for children has been developed by SA Health.

Consideration for Refugees:

  • As part of the pre-departure health checks, Immunisationsome refugees are given one dose of MMR overseas; a dose of other vaccines (DTP, polio) may also be given. Documentation of this may be variable.

  • Depending on timing of arrival and their age, NSW Refugee Health Service (RHS) may have given a second dose of MMR and/or other vaccines. Any vaccines given after arrival will be documented, as well as entered on AIR.

  • RHS does serology for hepatitis B (including immunity), and for varicella (if over 14 and no history of chickenpox), in the refugees it sees..

  • Adolescents attending Intensive English Centres (IECs) at high schools in the Sydney metropolitan area will have catch-up immunisations provided by the local Public Health Unit immunisation team.

    See: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/schoolvaccination.aspx

Catch-up schedules:

The National Immunisation Program allows for free catch-up vaccines for all refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over (ongoing), and all individuals aged 10 to 19 years.

If your practice is in SWSLHD, the Public Health Unit can assist you with immunisation catch-up schedules to be used with those patients partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Age specific templates are available.

If you are in another LHD, contact your Public Health Unit for similar assistance.

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Page last updated: 29 November, 2018