Adult Immunisation

Vaccination is just as important for adults as it is for children, particularly for those that have chronic disease or a weakened immune system. It is also important for people travelling to countries where vaccine preventable disease are prevalent.

Are you or a family member having a baby?

During pregnancy, changes to your immune system mean that you may be more at risk of some infections and illnesses which may be harmful to you and your baby. Immunisation can protect you against some of these infections. It is important that you discuss immunisation with your doctor or health care provider.

Are you Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander

Vaccines are recommended and funded because respiratory diseases are major causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people.

Are you 65 years or older?

Influenza and Pneumoccal vaccine are recommended and funded for everyone over 65 years. People in this age group are at high risk of getting these diseases.

What Immunisation do I need to protect myself at work?

Have you had a reaction after your immunisation?

All vaccines used in Australia undergo extensive research and must be approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Before a vaccine can be licensed, it is tested over several years to ensure it is safe and that it works.

However, if you, your child or a client experience an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI), please complete the Immunisation Adverse Event Reporting Form or call the Immunisation Unit on (02) 6205 2300.

Do adults need regular immunisation?

Influenza (flu) Invasive Pneumococcal Disease. Over 2,500 Australians die each year from complications caused by influenza. Less than half the people most at risk of developing life threatening complications from influenza are being vaccinated annually.

Influenza is not a cold. It is a highly contagious disease, so these immunisation rates must be increased to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. They include the elderly, those with suppressed immunity of any age and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccination is part of the funded National Immunisation Program (NIP). Intra venous drug users and household contacts of a person with hepatitis B can access free hepatitis B vaccine (funded by ACT Health) through their doctor.

It is also recommended (but not always funded) for:

  • those with multiple sexual partners;
  • people with certain chronic medical conditions and impaired immunity e.g. HIV, haemodialysis patients;
  • people with chronic liver disease and/or hepatitis C;
  • individuals with occupational risk e.g. health care workers, embalmers, tattooists and body-piercing workers, acupuncturists, sex workers;
  • residents and staff of facilities for persons with intellectual disabilities;
  • inmates and staff of long-term corrections facilities;
  • travellers to regions where hepatitis B is common;
  • migrants from countries where hepatitis B is common;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Free Shingles (Herpes Zoster) vaccine for 70-79 year olds

  • A Free vaccine to protect against shingles is available for everyone aged 70-79 years under the National Immunisation Program.
  • The vaccine is free for 70 year olds as on ongoing program.
  • 71-79 year olds are also eligible for a free shingles vaccine until 2021 as part of a catch up program.
  • Shingles is a painful and debilitating skin rash, often with blisters.  The rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts for two to four weeks.  Persistent pain from shingles lesions, called post herpetic neuralgia, can be very severe and can last a year or more.
  • Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates later in life.  If you have had chickenpox you could develop shingles.  1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime.  It occurs more frequently and tends to be more severe in older people.
  • If you are aged 70 – 79 talk to your GP to see if you should receive this vaccine.  A few people may be unable to have the vaccine.  The vaccine does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get the shingles.

Shingles Fact sheet