In adulthood, it is important to ensure on-going protection against vaccine preventable diseases. The following information provides advice on vaccines that are recommended for persons aged 18 to 49. If traveling overseas as an adult, there are additional vaccinations that might be recommended or required depending on where you are planning to visit. Travellers are encouraged to visit their General Practitioner (GP) six to eight weeks prior to traveling overseas to assess what vaccines or medicines are needed.
For adults, free influenza vaccine is available for all Australians aged six months of age and over with medical conditions, who can develop serious complications as a result of influenza. Visit www.immunise.health.gov.au to learn if you are eligible for free influenza vaccination.
Free influenza vaccine is available for all pregnant women. Pregnant women are at high risk of severe consequences of influenza infection. The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women and provides protection for them and their newborn for the first six months after birth.
To receive your influenza vaccination, visit your GP or immunisation provider. It is important to note that whilst the vaccine is free for people with these medical conditions, a consultation fee may apply.
Free influenza vaccine is available through community controlled Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS), state/territory immunisation clinics and GPs for all Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who are aged 15 years and over.
Measles Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
Measles outbreaks occur in some communities mainly as a result of unvaccinated travellers and visitors importing the disease from overseas. It is therefore important to ensure that you are adequately protected and the following should be considered:
- Most people born before 1966 will have been exposed to measles, mumps and rubella and do not require vaccination.
- People born after 1966 require two doses of MMR vaccine (at least one month apart) administered at ≥ 12 months of age
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
It is important that adults are vaccinated against whooping cough to ensure adequate protection. Although adults suffer relatively mild complications from the disease, it can be very serious for infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated. If someone has whooping cough, there is an 80% chance that other members of their household will catch it too.
Women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or post-delivery should discuss their vaccination needs with their GP as soon as possible.
* New mothers in NSW are eligible for free whooping cough vaccine in public maternity units after the birth of their children. The Northern Territory funds whooping cough vaccine to parents and close family members when administered within seven months of the birth of a child.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is free for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 to 49 who are at high risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Hepatitis B is considered an occupational hazard for health workers and vaccination is recommended for those people working in healthcare settings. Vaccination is also recommended for individuals who may take part in high risk activities like unprotected sex with new partners, tattoos or piercings in countries with lower sanitation practices or drug use.