Department of Health

Immunisation for special-risk groups

In Victoria some special, at-risk groups are eligible to receive some vaccines for free: vulnerable people, preterm infants, children and adolescents in out-of-home care, medically at-risk people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and refugees and asylum seekers.

Vulnerable people

Some people who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage don't have equitable access to vaccines during their period of eligibility.

Preterm infants

Infants born less than 32 weeks gestation or weighing less than 2000 grams or with risk conditions are recommended additional vaccines.

Children and adolescents in out-of-home care

Children and adolescents in out-of-home care may have missed routine vaccines, or missed additional recommended vaccines because of their health status. A summary of what out-of-home carers need to know is provided below, along with a link to specific fact sheets for Immunisation Providers, Carers and Child Protection Practitioners and Case Managers.

What you need to know

  • Children and adolescents living in out-of-home care are often behind with their immunisations.
  • Carers can give a general practitioner (GP) permission to give vaccines to a child in their care, if an authorisation instrument has been provided by Child Protection.
  • Mature minor1 consent may be used if the Immunisation Provider deems an adolescent can provide their own valid consent for vaccination.
  • To enrol in childcare, a child must have an immunisation history statement showing which immunisations they have received.
  • Centrelink family payments may stop if a child is not up to date with vaccinations.
  • Talk about immunisation at the child’s health check with a GP.

Immunisation for children in out-of-home care

Current immunisation schedule

Immunisation calculator for children prior to their 10th birthday 

People with medical risk conditions

Additional vaccines are recommended for people with certain medical conditions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Specified additional vaccines are recommended at certain ages.

Refugees and asylum seekers

Vaccines are funded regardless of whether the person holds a Medicare card.

Age, lifestyle and occupation

Other factors may require a person to need additional vaccines. More information can be found in the Australian immunisation handbook, Vaccination for Special Risk Groups.

Download the Immunisation schedule Victoria and read the Eligibility criteria for free vaccine.

For information about vaccinations in the workplace, such as for healthcare workers, working with children and influenza vaccination please visit the Vaccinations in the workplace section.


1young people can be deemed to be able to provide consent for their own treatment if they meet the ‘mature minor’ or ‘Gillick principle’.

Reviewed 23 October 2021

Health.vic

Contact details

Opening hours:  9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Immunisation Unit Department of Health

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