Healthy living

No Jab, No Pay: changes to childhood immunisation requirements

From 1 January 2016, there were some changes to the requirements for family assistance payments.

  • Only parents of children (aged up to and including 19 years) who are fully immunised, or are on a recognised catch-up schedule, or have an approved medical exemption, can continue to receive family assistance payments.
  • These changes also affect those who receive Grandparent Child Care Benefit, Special Child Care Benefit or Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance.
  • Conscientious objection and vaccination objection on non-medical grounds is no longer a valid exemption from immunisation.
How will I know if I my payments will be affected?

Parents will be notified through letters from Centrelink stating that they may not meet the new requirements for receiving family assistance payments. They are encouraged to speak to their immunisation provider about either updating their child’s records in the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) (external site) or starting a vaccination catch-up schedule to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated. All immunisation records need to be entered into the AIR by your immunisation provider.

Is immunisation free?

As of 1 January 2016, all National Immunisation Program vaccines are free of charge for children aged less than 10 years. In Western Australia, all young people aged 10 to 19 years are also eligible to receive free catch-up vaccinations up to the end of 2017, through the No Jab, No Pay program or WA Health programs. They may also be eligible for free vaccines under certain WA Health programs after December 2017. Please note your provider may charge a consultation fee to administer these vaccines.

Parents who are unsure if their child is fully vaccinated can check their immunisation history, see below.

How can I check if my child is fully immunised?

Checking your child’s immunisation history

For children under 14 years of age, parents can check their child’s immunisation history by:

  1. checking their Medicare online account (external site) through myGov (external site) (Note: If you do not have a myGov account, you will need to create one first and then link it to Medicare) OR via the Express Plus (external site) Medicare mobile app, OR
  2. by telephoning the AIR on 1800 653 809 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)

For children 14 years or older, parents can check their child’s immunisation history by:

  1. calling the AIR on 1800 653 809 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm), OR
  2. checking their Medicare online account (external site) through myGov (external site) (Note: Children aged 14 and above need to access their own MyGov account to check immunisation histories)

Visit the Department of Human Services (external site) for more information about the changes to childhood immunisation requirements.

More information

For all queries including getting your child’s immunisation history, please call AIR on 1800 653 809 (Monday to Friday 8.00am-5.00pm).

For further assistance on translating and entering overseas and Australian immunisation records on the AIR, or identifying which vaccines your child needs to be up to date, please contact your local public health unit or the Central Immunisation Clinic on 3921 1312.

Remember

  • changes to childhood immunisation requirements started 1 January 2016
  • only parents of children who are fully immunised or on a recognised catch-up schedule or have approve medical exemption can continue to receive family assistance payments
  • conscientious objection is no longer valid for exemption from immunisation.

Acknowledgements

Public Health


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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