Immunisations at Merri-bek
We provide vaccinations for all children and eligible adults as recommended by the National Immunisation Program. You can find out more about the National Immunisation Program on the Australian Department of Health website. We run immunisation sessions at locations around Merri-bek, and also visit secondary schools for the school immunisation program.
At these immunisation sessions, registered nurses administer the vaccines. You can ask them questions at any time.
Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children and adults against certain diseases. When you're vaccinated, your body produces an immune response in the same way your body would after exposure to a disease, but without you suffering symptoms of the disease. When you come into contact with that disease in the future, your immune system will respond fast enough to prevent you developing the disease.
It is estimated that vaccination currently saves approximately 3 million lives each year worldwide. Over 94% of children in Australia are vaccinated.
Vaccination locations include:
- Coburg Concert Hall
- Brunswick Town Hall
- Wheatsheaf Glenroy Facility (March 2022 onwards)
- Pascoe Vale Neighbourhood Facility
- Merlynston Progress Hall
The following vaccinations are available in Merri-bek:
- 1st visit: 6-8 week old Immunisation
- 2nd visit: 4 month old Immunisation
- 3rd visit: 6 month old Immunisation
- 4th visit: 12 month old Immunisation
- 5th visit: 18 month old Immunisation
- 6th visit: 4 year old Immunisation
- Flu vaccine: free and paid vaccines
- Hepatitis B: Adult - free and paid vaccines
- Measles, mumps, rubella booster: Adult immunisations
- New Parent Program: Whooping Cough booster immunisation (free). Paid also available.
- Year 7 and 10 immunisation visits
- Varicella (chickenpox) booster: paid vaccine
- Bexsero (Meningococcal B): paid vaccine
- Meningococcal ACWY: paid vaccinae
- Catch-up immunisations, at risk Bexsero and other at risk vaccines
Before booking your appointment, you can select a location, day and time that suits you and fill in your details.
You may have been given a specific date to book your next appointment when you last saw us. The "return date" is to make sure your vaccine doses are spaced appropriately. It is important that don't book your next appointment before this date but it's okay if it is booked after that date. Vaccines are not considered overdue by Centrelink for 1 month after the vaccine should have been given.
If you need to change or cancel an appointment, you can do so through the confirmation email you received after booking.
Multiple vaccines can be given at one appointment and you're able to let us know if you want additional vaccines by choosing from the drop down boxes on the booking page. You can always add any questions or extra information in the comments section on the form. You can also email email@example.com to send through any questions or extra information.
COVID-19 measures at our centres
Due to COVID-19, we are taking the following safety measures at our immunisation centres:
- It is requested that only one parent per immunised child can be present within the facility (within reason)
- Those aged 8 years and over must wear a face mask inside our venue
- At the door you will be asked a series of health screening questions, asked to clean your child health record and to use hand sanitiser
- Your temperature will be checked
- Hand sanitiser will be available for your use throughout the venue
- Disinfectant wipes will be located at staff stations to wipe down surfaces and equipment between clients and staff members using them
- Furniture and equipment will be spaced 1.5m apart within the venue to promote physical distancing
- Our staff will wear PPE during the session
- You will be required to wait for 15 minutes following immunisation. This is a standard recommendation due to the low risk of a severe allergic reaction occurring after the vaccines have been received. These symptoms can develop quickly and require immediate medical attention. We ask that everyone completes their 15 minute wait at the centre, instead of going back to their car.
All vaccinations for your baby or child up to 6 years of age are written in your My Health and Development Record book.
We also keep a database of all immunisations administered at Council or school sessions, and send these records to the Australian Immunisation Register. You can find out more about the Australian Immunisation Register on the Services Australia website.
The Australian Immunisation Register is an all of life register. If you have Medicare, you're automatically enrolled on it. Even if your child doesn't have Medicare they will be added to the Immunisation Register once their immunisation details are sent over from your immunisation provider. Overseas records can be added with or without Medicare. Please be aware that the register only records vaccine given since 1996. Previous or more complete records may be held with your immunisation service provider.
Immunisations for children
We conduct free immunisation appointments for babies aged from 6 weeks (not a day earlier) to children aged 4 years old, as well as catch up immunisations for those under 20 years old. Please bring your child’s My Health Record as well as your Medicare card if you have one. You can find out more about this record on the My Health Record website.
Flu vaccine is free for all children 6 months to under 5 years and is available from late April - late December every year.
Additional paid vaccines are also available including Meningococcal B (Bexsero), chickenpox boosters and flu vaccine for children aged 5 years and over.
When you arrive at your appointment, you will be given a pre-immunisation checklist. You will have the opportunity to ask the nurse any questions, or chat about any concerns you may have before consenting to immunisation.
Children under 12 months of age will be given injections in the legs. Children 12 months of age or older are given injections in the arms. Injections are given while you hold your baby. You may choose to bottle or breastfeed your child during immunisation. Bringing a comforting item like a toy or blanket can also be helpful for older children.
After your child has been vaccinated you need wait 15 minutes before you leave. This is in case of an unexpected reaction. These are rare but if it happens it will usually be within a few minutes of receiving the injection.
If you or your family are displaying any symptoms of a cold, cough, fever, sore throat, or vomiting and diarrhoea your visit should be postponed until you are well. If you have been requested to isolate for any reason please do not attend.
Find out more about immunisation for children on the Department of Health website.
Immunisations for secondary school students
The protection provided by some childhood vaccines fades and needs to be boosted in adolescence, which is why secondary school vaccinations are important.
Adolescents are at an age when they have a higher potential to be exposed to certain diseases. Vaccination against these diseases provides protection. These vaccines are given at school, once the child’s parent gives consent.
Which vaccines are offered for free in secondary school?
The following vaccines are offered free to all children in secondary school regardless of their citizenship status:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in year 7
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine booster in year 7
- Meningococcal ACWY vaccine in year 10
Find out more about immunisation for secondary school students on the Department of Health website.
Additional paid vaccines are also available at our council sessions including Meningococcal B (Bexsero), chickenpox boosters and flu vaccine for children aged 5 years and over.
How school immunisation works
We run 2 to 3 free immunisation sessions at all secondary schools in Merri-bek each year.
At the start of each year, or during enrolment, the school will give an Immunisation Consent Form to all students for a parent or guardian to sign.
Read the information, tear off and complete the consent form, both outside and inside, and return it to the school as soon as possible.
Even if you do not want your child vaccinated, you will still need to complete and return the form.
If you want to access these vaccines through us or your local GP instead of through the school program, please ensure you return the consent card to your school so that we are aware. There is space on the form for you to decline the vaccines for your child through the school program.
If your child misses their vaccines at school, they can have them at the GP or at one of our immunisation session.
Immunisation for adults
We provide immunisations to adults. Some of these are free and some of these are available for a fee.
Before booking a vaccine appointment, you can select a day and time that suits you and fill in your details using our online Immunisation service booking form.
Which vaccines are offered for adults
The following vaccines are available for adults through us, for purchase or for free for adults who meet certain criteria. People under 20 qualify for additional vaccines not listed here:
Flu vaccine is $26, or free if you are:
- in a medical risk category
- an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
- 65 years or older.
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is free for:
- all adults born in or after 1966
- all people aged 20 years or older who do not have evidence of two documented doses of valid MMR vaccine or without serological evidence of immunity.
Pneumococcal is free for:
- all adults with newly diagnosed risk conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years or over
- all adults aged 70 years or older.
Whooping cough (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) is $46 per dose, or free for:
- Pregnant people and their partners.
Chickenpox is $74 per dose
Hepatitis B is $25 per dose, or free for all at risk adults. You can can find out more about what 'at risk' means and who it applies to on the Department of Health website.
Meningococcal B is $134 per dose
Meningococcal ACWY is $74 per dose
All prices are valid from July 1 2021.
You can find out more about immunisation for adults on the Department of Health website.
Your Immunisation History Statement
An Immunisation History Statement is an up-to-date statement showing the vaccinations that your child has received.
Under the Victorian Government’s No Jab, No Play legislation, you must supply an Immunisation History Statement when you enrol your child in kindergarten or childcare. The certificate must show that your child is up to date with their immunisations for their age for them to attend.
By law, your child must also have an Immunisation History Statement to start primary school. You will also need one if you switch your child to a different primary school in Victoria. If your child has not received all or any vaccinations, you must still provide a certificate. This certificate assists health authorities to protect children in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease occurrence in a school. If there is a disease occurrence in a school, a child who hasn’t been vaccinated may be excluded from school until the risk of infection has passed.
You cannot use your My Child Health Record or a letter from your GP in place of an Immunisation History Statement.
How do I get an immunisation history statement?
You can check, print and download your child’s Immunisation History Statement at any time by using:
- your Medicare online account through the myGov website. You can find out more about Medicare online on the Services Australia website. If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one and then link it to your Medicare online account on the myGov website.
- the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. You can find out more about the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app on the Services Australia website. If you don’t have the Express Plus Centrelink app, you can download it to an android device from the Google play website. If you use an Apple device you can dowload this app from the Apple store website.
You can order a copy of your child's immunisation statement at any time by:
- contacting the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809
- attending a Medicare or Centrelink office.
We can also access your child's Immunisation History Statement via the Australian Immunisation Register and can email a copy to you if requested. This is the same Immunisation History Statement that would be posted to you by the Australian Immunisation Register.
What to do if Centrelink contacts you about immunisations?
You might receive a letter from Centrelink that says your child’s immunisations are not up to date. If this happens, you should contact the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809.
If you receive this letter even though your child’s immunisations are up to date, it may be because your child's Medicare number hasn't been linked to Centrelink, so they can't access and verify your child's immunisation status on the immunisation register. This could affect Centrelink payments. You can link Medicare to Centrelink by calling the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809. You can also link Medicare to Centrelink using your account on the myGov website.
Sometimes immunisation records haven't been received by the Australian Immunisation Register. In this case, please contact your service provider and request that they add the vaccines on your behalf.
What happens if a vaccination is overdue?
Please note: we are unable to sign medical exemption paperwork.
A vaccination is considered overdue if not administered by one month after the due date.
Most of the immunisations on the Immunise Australia Program are linked to family assistance payments, including the Child Care Benefit. Children need to be up to date with immunisation or have an approved medical exemption. You can find out more about this on the Department of Health website.
Catch-up immunisation sessions for adults and children
Whether you are newly arrived in Australia or have missed previous vaccinations, free catch-up immunisation is available at Merri-bek City Council.
If you need to catch up on immunisation, we conduct catch-ups for:
- all children and teens up to 20 years old (vaccines must commence before the 20th birthday but can be concluded after the 20th birthday)
- all refugees and humanitarian entrants, including asylum seekers
- vulnerable citizens
Medicare is not essential for catch up vaccinations.
Please contact us on 9240 1111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment to discuss missed vaccines. Normally we can discuss this with you over the phone, but in some cases you may be required to bring your child’s records to the Merri-bek Civic Centre at 90 Bell Street, Coburg. This helps us plan which vaccines are required to bring your child up to date.
Overseas immunisation histories
If you need help translating your own or your child’s immunisation record, the Department of Social Services have a free translating service that you may be able to access. You can find more informationabout this on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Travel vaccines, including early measles, mumps and rubella immunisation can only be administered through a GP or travel clinic.
Covid, Monkeypox and Flu Vaccines
Cohealth at Glenroy Hub on Wheatsheaf Road have a pop up walk in clinic offering Covid, Monkeypox and Flu vaccines every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-12.15pm and 1-4pm.
Flu - 6 months and older (subject to availability)
Covid - 12 year and older
Monkeypox - eligibility criteria here
NO APPOINTMENTS NECESSARY
Other Monkeypox vaccine locations can be found here