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FAQ

What vaccines are given to my child in the first 18 months of age?

Page last updated 27 July 2020

Babies are given a variety of vaccines within their first 18 months of life. Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), vaccines are provided for free at birth 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months. The primary series of vaccinations are given at 2, 4, and 6 months. The gap between the doses of vaccines is to make sure that each dose has time to work effectively. 

At birth, generally within the first 24 hours and definitely within the first seven days, babies are given a vaccination for hepatitis B. 

The next vaccination time is at 2 months of age, but the vaccinations can be given from 6 weeks of age. Vaccination is a single injection for a combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), hepatitis B, polio, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), an injection for pneumococcal disease and oral drops for rotavirus. 

At 4 months of age, babies are given their second dose of those vaccines given at 2 months of age.  Giving additional doses of the same vaccine allows a baby’s immunity to slowly build up over time and allows full immunity at the end of the dosing regimen. 

At 6 months, the third dose against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), hepatitis B, polio and Hib is given.  

Three vaccinations are given at 12 months: meningococcal ACWY, pneumococcal and a combined injection for measles, mumps and rubella. 

At 18 months, three vaccines are given – a combined injection against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chicken pox), the fourth dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine and a vaccine for Hib. Additional vaccinations are given to children who have certain underlying medical conditions and fir aboriginal and torres strait islander children. Check with your doctor if you think your child may be eligible.

Sources & Citations

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Safety – Multiple Vaccines and the Immune System. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/multiple-vaccines-immunity.html (accessed 14 May 2020).

2. Australian Government. Department of Health. How do I immunise my child? Available at: https://campaigns.health.gov.au/immunisationfacts/how-do-i-immunise-my-child (accessed 14 May 2020).

3. Australian Government. Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at: https://beta.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-immunisation-program-schedule-portrait (accessed 14 May 2020).

6. City of Monash. Immunisation – Frequently Asked Questions. Available at: https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Services/Children-Family/Immunisation/Childhood-Immunisations-and-Council-Sessions/Immunisation-Frequently-Asked-Questions (accessed 14 May 2020).

MAT-AU-2000085 - Date of preparation July 2020 

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