Reminder letters for children and adolescents overdue for vaccination

27 August 2019

 

Following the Australian Government’s recent changes to the childhood and adolescent National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule, including the implementation of an adolescent Meningococcal ACWY program, and the transition of HPV vaccination records into the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), the Department of Human Services (DHS) has commenced sending additional reminder letters to individuals overdue for vaccination.

These letters may be beneficial to:

  • prompt parents and reduce the likelihood of children failing behind schedule; and  
  • encourage those individuals who have missed a school-based vaccination to follow up with their GP before they become ineligible to receive a NIP funded vaccine.

These additional letters advise individuals to contact their GP to receive missed vaccine/s whilst they are still eligible to receive funded catch-up immunisations through the NIP.

An example of an   pdf overdue letter for children (498 KB)  and an   pdf overdue letter for adolescents (497 KB) are available for download in anticipation of an increase in patients seeking assistance regarding potentially overdue vaccinations.

Childhood letters

The childhood overdue reminder letter is currently sent to all parents of overdue children at 10, 21, and 54 months of age. It was agreed nationally that to complement the existing letters sent to parents of children under the childhood schedule, additional letters will now be sent to those not in receipt of family assistance payments and overdue for a vaccination at; 7, 13, 15, 19, and 49 months of age. 

Therefore, reminder letters will now be sent to parents of overdue children at 7, 10, 13, 15, 19, 21, 49 and 54 months of age.

Adolescent letters

The AIR system will also send new adolescent overdue reminder letters to individuals at 14.5, 17, and 18 years of age. These letters will indicate if an individual is overdue for any vaccine, not just those vaccines on the adolescent schedule.

Please note at this stage only the 14.5 year old letters will go out as NSW has a hold placed on the 17 and 18 year old letters until our MenACWY historical data has been transmitted to the AIR and quality checked. AIR advises that dTpa vaccine will also not be included at this stage. 

Therefore, the 14.5 year old letter will be sent to adolescents who are overdue for HPV vaccine and any childhood vaccines only at this stage.