Parents Whooping Cough Vaccination Program

Between 2013 and 2014 the rate of Whooping cough increased by 56%, state wide, among the 0 to 4 years of age group. Vaccinating women against pertussis in the third trimester of pregnancy provides two-for-one protection for newborn babies. The mother is protected by the vaccine, reducing her risk of infection and therefore the risk of passing infection onto her newborn. Antibodies produced against pertussis during pregnancy are also transferred to the baby in utero, providing added protection. Vaccinating women in the postpartum period, and their partners at any time from the third trimester of pregnancy, helps to protect the newborn by reducing the risk of transmission of infection.

Parents and guardians include, but are not limited to: fathers, same-sex partners, foster parents, adoptive parents, surrogate parents, co-parents, any other legal guardians. Parents of children born before 1 June 2015 are not eligible for the free vaccine. Parents and close contacts who meet the recommended guidelines for pertussis vaccination can purchase vaccine with a private prescription.

To be eligible for the free vaccine, adults must:

  • ordinarily reside in Victoria
  • hold a Medicare card, or
  • be a permanent resident or have applied for permanent residency.

Grandparents are only eligible for the free vaccine if they are the primary carer or legal guardian of the newborn baby. All other grandparents in close contact with newborns can purchase vaccine with a private prescription. All other people who meet the recommended guidelines for pertussis vaccination can purchase vaccine with a private prescription.

These eligibility requirements are based on the best scientific evidence available, the opinion of immunisation experts and the recommendations from The Australian Immunisation Handbook.

  1. Latest Immunisation Newsletter
    from Department of Health and human Services
  1. Latest Immunisation rates released

Childhood immunisation is generally on the rise but is still far too low in some areas to protect the community from infectious disease outbreaks, according to the latest immunisation report from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA).

Across Australia 90.9 per cent of all children aged one, two and five years were fully immunised in 2014/15, above the minimum 90 per cent requirement for herd immunity but below the 95 per cent target for comprehensive protection against the most infectious diseases such as measles. Read more here 

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