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FAQ

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

Page last updated 23 August 2018

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. Medically at risk babies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is given and additional pneumococcal vaccine.

Three vaccinations are given at 12 months: meningococcal ACWY, pneumococcal and a combined injection for measles, mumps and rubella. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies living in high risk areas (QLD, NT, WA and SA), a vaccine against hepatitis A is also required. These babies should also receive an additional pneumococcal vaccine between 12-18 months.

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. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in high risk areas (QLD, NT, WA and SA), a second dose of against hepatitis A is also required.

It is important to that ensure you infant is adequately vaccinated in the first 2 years of life.

Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government. Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at https://beta.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-immunisation-program-schedule-portrait (accessed 5 July 2018).
  2. NSW Government. Department of Health. Hepatitis B fact sheet. Available at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/hepatitis_b.aspx (accessed 5 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0151a - Date of preparation May 2018

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