Year 7 students

happy year 7 students

Year 7 students are offered free vaccines at their school that will protect them against four diseases:

The Canberra Health Services’ School Health Team will visit Year 7 students twice over the school year, the first will be early in the year and the second at least 6 months later. Keep an eye out for the consent card which gets sent out in the first week of Term 1. Find, sign and return it to the school —even if you don’t want your child to be immunised. Parent or guardian consent is required for year 7 school vaccinations. If you can’t find the consent card, ask your school for another one or download the year 7 consent card. If you are printing the consent card, please print it on both sides (one piece of paper) and provide this to your school, rather than scanning it. Please read the Year 7 High School Immunisation Program factsheet carefully before you sign the consent card.

Why should I vaccinate my child?

Vaccines save lives. Vaccines prevent serious illness, disability and death. Getting vaccinated will keep you, your family and our community healthy by reducing the spread of vaccine preventable diseases. Even healthy people get sick. The simplest, safest and most effective way to prevent some diseases is to get vaccinated. If enough people in the community get vaccinated against a disease, the infection can no longer spread from person to person . We advise the community to vaccinate on time to receive the best most benefit from vaccination—delaying can leave your child at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.

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I forgot to return the consent card on time. Is it too late to get my child vaccinated at school?

No. Please contact the School Health Team on 02 5124 1585 and they will provide you with your options. For example, if your child missed the first dose of the HPV vaccine, it can be given when the school immunisation team returns to the school in the latter half of the year.

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Are vaccines safe?

Research and testing is an essential part of developing safe and effective vaccines.

In Australia, vaccines must pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register them for use. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years. Before vaccines become available to the public, clinical trials test them on thousands of people. For more information on vaccine safety, refer to the Department of Health’s ‘How are vaccines shown to be safe?’ factsheet.

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Will my child experience any side effects?

Like all medications, vaccines can cause side effects. Your child may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common reactions to vaccination include:

  • pain, redness and/or swelling and/or hardness where your child received the needle
  • mild fever

After having the HPV vaccine your child could also feel tired or have body aches.

Serious reactions like allergic reactions are extremely rare. If your child reacts in an unexpected way, seek medical advice straight away.

If you have any concerns about potential side effects of vaccines, talk to the Immunisation information Line on 02 5124 9800.

More information on the possible side effects of these vaccines is available in the Department of Health Australian Immunisation Handbook.

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Do you have some tips on how to prepare a nervous or anxious child?

There are a few things you can do to help reduce your child's fear and anxiety:

  • discuss with them what the vaccines are for and how it protects them
  • tell them when they’ll get vaccinated so they can prepare themselves
  • practice positive self-talk- "I can do this"
  • call the School Health Team on 02 5124 1585 prior to the vaccination day to discuss your concerns with a nurse
  • tell your child to visit the nurses and have it done first – the less they wait, the better
  • if they’re still very anxious, you can come into the school and be with your child while they have their immunisation. For the privacy of the other students, parents and carers are not able to be with their child in the recovery area

On the day of immunisations, make sure your child eats breakfast and drinks plenty of water. Ensure they wear loose fitting clothing, especially around the arms and shoulders to make it easier for the nurses to vaccinate them. For information about the date your child will be vaccinated, contact your school.

For more tips, visit our resources page.

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What if my child missed their dose at school?

If your child has missed a vaccine dose, the School Health Team will send you a letter letting you know when the vaccine is due to be given at your family doctor at the end of the school year. Catch up vaccines will not be available through your GP until the end of the year The vaccine remains free but a consultation fee may apply. Letters will not be sent to those who have not returned a consent card so it is important to sign it as soon as you receive it.

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Where can I access my child’s vaccination history?

From 2018, your child’s vaccination history is available through a MyGov account.

Before 2018:

  • If they were vaccinated at school between 2007 to 2017, their record is in the process of being uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), which can be accessed through your MyGov account. Please be patient as this may take some time. If you require the record urgently, please call the School Immunisation Program on 5124 1585 for assistance.
  • If they were vaccinated at school between 2003 to 2006, their records are available but are not currently reflected on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Please call the School Immunisation Program on 5124 1585 for assistance.
  • If they were vaccinated at school before 2003, we no longer have these records due to the 2003 Canberra bushfires. If you retained a physical record of the immunisation, you are able to ask your family doctor or other immunisation provider to add this to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

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My child is homeschooled? Are they eligible?

Children who are homeschooled can access the free vaccines through their family doctor (a consultation fee may apply).

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Page last updated on: 5 Feb 2021