About immunisation and vaccination
Vaccination is a term we use to describe introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a disease, often by injection. Immunisation is the process by which a person becomes protected against a disease.
Our immunisation program provides education and support, to help maximise immunisation coverage rates for people of all ages and for all vaccines, especially among vulnerable communities.
See the recommended NSW Immunisation Schedule.
School vaccination program
NSW Health works with high schools to offer free vaccination at school to students who have consent from their parent or carer. We offer vaccination for dTpa or HPV in year 7 and meningococcal ACWY vaccination for year 10 students.
The Nepean Blue Mountains LHD school immunisation teams visit each of the 51 high schools in Nepean Blue Mountains 3 times each year to administer these vaccines.
See details of the NSW School Vaccination Program 2022 in a range of community languages.
Students who miss vaccine doses due to absence on the day of the nurses' visit will be offered catch-up vaccination at later school clinics. Where this is not possible, parents will be advised that free catch-up vaccine is available at their local GP.
If you wait for your child to be older before consenting to vaccination, you will need to arrange for vaccination at their GP and may have to pay a consultation fee. Read more about catch-up vaccination.
You can withdraw consent at any time before vaccination takes place.
For more information about the NSW School Vaccination Program in this area contact our Public Health Unit on (02) 4734 2022.
Vaccination clinics for children
Most GPs in the area offer childhood vaccinations. The Nepean-Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (PHN) promotes immunisation benefits to local communities and provides immunisation support to GPs to maintain local childhood immunisation rates to over 90%. See vaccine coverage rates for children in NSW.
Free public vaccination clinics for children are run by registered nurses at some of our community health centres. You don’t need a Medicare card to use them.
HPV vaccination for young people
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that spreads through sexual contact. There are over 100 types of HPV, which affect various parts of the body.
Around 80% of people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. It usually causes no symptoms and goes away by itself but can sometimes cause serious illness.
Certain types of HPV can cause genital warts and in rare cases cancer (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anus, penis, head and neck). Learn more from the Cancer Institute NSW about HPV and cervical cancer.
For most women, HPV will clear on its own by the body’s immune system within a year or 2, with no harmful effects.
In Australia, the 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is included in the school-based programs for young people aged 12 to 13 years using a 2-dose schedule.
Immunisation History Statements are available to show vaccinations given to anyone of any age in Australia, where the immunisation provider has registered it. Find out how to check your immunisation history on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
For enquiries about school immunisation records contact our Public Health Unit on 02 4734 2022.
Our unit does not provide travel advice to individuals. People travelling overseas are strongly advised to consult their local doctor, or a specialist travel doctor.
The Australian government provides up-to-date advice for Australian travellers on vaccination requirements and health precautions for all countries. See Immunisation for travel and Vaccinations and preventative health.
Animal bites and scratches
People bitten by mammals overseas may need to complete a course of rabies vaccine on return to Australia.
Any bite or scratch from a bat in Australia should be assessed for the risk of Australian bat lyssavirus.
Find out more about dog, cat and bat bites or see the NSW Health Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus fact sheet.
Contact our Public Health Unit for advice on management and to get free post-exposure vaccines.
Information for health professionals
Our Public Health Unit provides annual training opportunities for accredited nurse immunisers, practice nurses and GPs. See details of the latest webinar on the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN immunisation page.
See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for definitions and response to adverse events after immunisation. Immunisation providers can contact the NSW Specialist immunisation Service (NSWISS) on 1800 679 477 for clinic advice and support on immunisation for patients with complex or unusual medical backgrounds or who have previously had an adverse event following immunisation.
Immunisation providers must report suspected adverse events by phone to our Public Health Unit.
All immunisation providers must have a current cold chain protocol and report any cold chain breach to our Public Health Unit. Find out more about Cold chain breach protocol in NSW.
GPs wishing to provide Yellow Fever vaccination must meet the minimum requirement set out in the National Guidelines for Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres – see the Yellow Fever Centre application package or contact Public Health for more information.