• Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from serious disease
  • By vaccinating you are protecting your child, your family and the community.

Vaccines are safe and effective. The benefits of immunisation far outweigh any risks. However, like other medicines, a vaccine can sometimes cause side effects. These are usually mild and don’t last long. They include pain, swelling and redness where the needle was given. Serious side effects are very rare. If you have any concerns about possible side effects, speak to your doctor or immunisation service provider.

The National Immunisation Program Schedule (from 1 April 2019) recommends that children are vaccinated at the following ages:

  • Birth                      
  • 6 to 8 Weeks       
  • 4 months              
  • 6 months
  • 12 months            
  • 18 months            
  • 4 years.

The flu vaccination is free for some children in Australia.

  • For all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older
  • For all children over 6 months who have a medical condition which means they have a higher risk of getting a serious disease
  • Some states, such as NSW, give a free flu vaccine to all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years.

Your child must be vaccinated if you want to receive the Government Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate or the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement. Children in some states, such as NSW, must be vaccinated to be able to enrol in childcare.

It is important to vaccinate your child on time. So, book ahead, make an appointment with your doctor or immunisation service provider and save the date to vaccinate. Download the handy SAVE THE DATE Phone App or print a schedule based on your child’s age at

You can also read about common questions about vaccine safety at

For further information, view the SCHN factsheet on Immunisation- information on the diseases covered.