National Childhood Pneumococcal Vaccination Program

Children eligible for free pneumococcal vaccine are:

         All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under 2 years of age;

         Aboriginal children in Central Australia and any region likely to have a similar high incidence of pneumococcal infection under 5 years of age;

         All children under 2 years of age living in Central Australia; and

         Children under 5 years of age with medical risk factors that predispose them to high incidence or high severity of pneumococcal infection (see below)**.

For details on the appropriate schedule and catch-up programs , please contact your State or Territory health department.

**Medical risk factors that predispose children to high incidence or high severity of pneumococcal infection are:

         congenital immune deficiency including symptomatic IgG subclass or isolated IgA deficiency, but excluding children where monthly immunoglobulin infusion is required

         immunosuppressive therapy (including corticosteroid therapy equivalent to greater than 2mg/kg per day of prednisone for more than 2 weeks) or radiation therapy, where there is sufficient immune reconstitution for vaccine response to be expected

         compromised splenic function due to sickle haemoglobinopathies, or congenital or acquired asplenia

         HIV infection, before and after development of AIDS

         renal failure, or relapsing or persistent nephrotic syndrome

         Down's syndrome

         cardiac disease associated with cyanosis or cardiac failure

         all premature infants with chronic lung disease

         all infants born at less than 28 weeks gestation

         cystic fibrosis

         insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

         proven or presumptive cerebrospinal fluid leak

         intracranial shunts and cochlear implants

 

National Indigenous Pneumococcal and Influenza Immunisation Program

Free pneumococcal and influenza vaccines are provided for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under this program. Eligibility is as follows:

AGE

VACCINE

15-49 years* #

Influenza

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

50+ years Influenza

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this age group who are eligible for these vaccines have special vaccination requirements, and include those with:

-  heart, kidney or lung disease;

-  asthma or diabetes;

-  immuno-compromising condition such as HIV infection or cancer; and/or

-  those who are heavy drinkers or smoke tobacco.

# Northern Territory immunisation providers should refer to local guidelines.

For more information, refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook 8th Edition 2003 at http://immunise.health.gov.au, the National Indigenous Pneumococcal and Influenza Immunisation.

Program website at http://immunise.health.gov.au/indigenous.htm or contact your State or Territory health department.