Immunisation is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is just as important for adults as it is for children, especially for those who have a chronic disease or a weakened immune system.

For translated information about immunisation, go to Health Translations.

Pregnant Women

When you are pregnant your immune system changes. This means you may be more at risk of some infections and illnesses that can be harmful to you and your baby. 

Some vaccines are recommended during pregnancy. Please discuss this with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Respiratory diseases are a major cause of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The following vaccines are recommended and funded for all people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

People aged 65 and older

People aged 65 and over have a high risk of Influenza and Pneumococcal infections. The following vaccines are recommended and funded for everyone in this age group.

Free Shingles (Herpes Zoster) vaccine 

A free vaccine against shingles is available for people aged 70 to 79 under the National Immunisation Program.

Shingles is a painful and debilitating skin rash that often includes blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of your face or body and lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. Persistent pain from shingles lesions (known as Post Herpetic Neuralgia) can be very severe and can last for a year or more.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. You can only develop shingles if you have had chickenpox. 

Older people are more likely to get shingles and it can be more severe. 

The vaccine is free for people aged 70 as an ongoing program. A catch up program for people aged 71 to 79 years of age is available until 2021. 

Please speak with your GP for more information. For more information on shingles immunisation visit Australian Government Department of Health.

Hepatitis B vaccine

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can have long term health implications. The best protection against Hepatitis B is vaccination.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is funded for: 

  • Refugees,
  • humanitarian entrants,
  • people who inject drugs,
  • household contacts of someone with Hepatitis B.

This vaccine can be accessed free through your doctor.

Hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended for the following groups:

  • have multiple sexual partners
  • have certain chronic medical conditions and impaired immunity
  • have chronic liver disease or Hepatitis C
  • have an occupational risk, including healthcare workers, embalmers, tattooists and body-piercers, acupuncturists and sex workers
  • are a resident or staff member of a facility for people with intellectual disabilities
  • are an inmate or staff member of a long-term correction facility
  • travel to regions where Hepatitis B is common
  • are a migrant from a country where Hepatitis B is common
  • identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person

Please Note: the vaccine may not be funded.

Reactions to immunisations

Adverse events following immunisation are notifiable under the ACT Public Health Act 1997: Public Health (Reporting of Notifiable Conditions) Code of Practice 2017 (No 1).

Medical officers and authorised nurse practitioners are required to make written notifications.  The Adverse Event Following Immunisation form can be downloaded from the CDC section of the HPS website: or by contacting the CDC section by phoning 5124 9800.   Written notifications may be submitted via post or facsimile. All notifications should be made using full patient details.

Please complete the Immunisation Adverse Event Reporting Form or call the Immunisation Unit on 02 5124 9800 if you experience an adverse event following an immunisation.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination for Adults

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination for Adults

The ACT government funds MMR vaccines for adults. Anyone born in or after 1966 and who has not previously received two measles containing vaccines is eligible for free MMR vaccine. Available through your GP. Please note that your GP may still charge a consultation fee.


Measles is a highly infectious disease that can cause brain damage and death. Measles is easily prevented by two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Yet many people born since 1966 are not adequately protected against measles. Ask your GP to check your vaccination record. If you’re not sure, there’s no harm in getting a third dose.

For more information, visit Australian Academy of Science.

Page last updated on: 23 Jun 2020