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Adolescent

Page last updated on 24 May 2022

Vaccination is an effective way to lower your teenager’s chance of becoming seriously ill or hospitalised from vaccine-preventable diseases.

By keeping your teenager up-to-date with their vaccinations, you’re also helping out the community by protecting the more vulnerable people from becoming infected.

Vaccinations listed in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) are free, and include vaccination at birth, two months, four months, six months, 12 months, and 18 months. The schedule then resumes at 4 years, and again at adolescence, for 12-16 year olds.

The vaccinations recommended for teenagers between 12 and 16 years are provided as part of the NIP. These School-based Vaccination Programs provide parents with the opportunity to have their child vaccinated through their school at no cost. Vaccines provided include: 

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) – two doses (12–<13 years).
  • A combined injection for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) (12–<13 years).
  • Meningococcal ACWY (14–<16 years).

Vaccination programs may differ by state or territory. For more details on the School-based Vaccination Programs available, contact your healthcare professional, GP or state/territory health service.

Commonly asked questions

Does my teenager get free vaccines through school?

Yes. 

All vaccines listed as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) are free. If you miss the scheduled school vaccination programme, you may be able to access a free catch-up vaccine through your healthcare provider. If you choose to delay vaccination of your teenager, you will need to arrange your own vaccination and may be required to pay your doctor a consultation fee.
 

What vaccinations does my teenager need?

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) includes the following vaccines for teenagers (12–16 years):

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) – two doses (12–<13 years).
  • A combined injection for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) (12–<13 years).
  • Meningococcal ACWY (14–<16 years).

Vaccination programs may differ by state or territory. For more information, contact your healthcare practitioner or state government.

If you are planning an overseas trip, it’s best to check with your healthcare practitioner as they can recommend the required vaccinations specific to the destinations and activities you have planned. As some vaccinations require multiple injections over time, make sure you give yourself at least 6 weeks to complete vaccinations before you leave.

When should my teenager have the HPV vaccine?

People aged 14 and under should receive two doses of the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine.

The vaccine is generally given to students in Year 7 or 8 at school, with at least 6-12 months between each dose. In some cases, teenagers may require three doses of the HPV vaccine.

For further information regarding vaccination and prevention of HPV, speak with your healthcare practitioner.

What booster vaccinations do teenagers need?

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) includes a booster injection for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough), as a single combined dose for teenagers aged 12-13 years.

My teenager was vaccinated overseas, do I need to vaccinate them again in Australia?

This will depend on what vaccinations your teenager has had overseas and if you are able to provide valid records of their vaccination/s.

If the vaccination schedule of your home country differs greatly for the Australian Immunisation Schedule, or if valid records are not available for your teenager, then your healthcare practitioner or GP may recommend your teenager go through a catch-up schedule in order to be in line with the National Immunisation Program (NIP).  People aged less than 20 years are eligible for free catch-up vaccinations.

VaccineHub offers general information only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice

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Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government. Department of Health. Why get immunised? Available at: https://campaigns.health.gov.au/immunisationfacts/why-get-immunised (accessed 2 May 2022).
  2. Australian Government. Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-immunisation-program-schedule-portrait (accessed 2 May 2022).
  3. Australian Government. Department of Health. Immunisation for travel. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/immunisation-for-travel (accessed 2 May 2022).
  4. HPV vaccine. Available at: http://www.hpvvaccine.org.au/the-hpv-vaccine/how-when-where-vaccine-given.aspx (accessed 2 May 2022).
  5. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Catch-up vaccination. Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/catch-up-vaccination (accessed 2 May 2022).

MAT-AU-2201297  Date of preparation May 2022

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