Immunisation Information for the Public

The Public Health Unit provides general advice and information on adult and childhood immunisation to members of the public, excluding travel vaccinations. Make sure to check the NSW Immunisation Schedule to find out what vaccinations you need and when.

The flu shot is our best defence against the flu. It is recommended for everyone who is aged 6 months and over to reduce their risk of the flu. Australia's peak flu season is between June and September. It is recommended for individuals to get their flu shot between April and May, however it is never too late to vaccinate!

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:

  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age (including Aboriginal and medically at risk)
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:
    • cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
    • chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
    • other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
    • chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
    • impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
    • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).

You can get your flu shot at your GP or a pharmacy (pharmacies do not have free flu vaccine). You can search online for a pharmacy that provides the flu shot.

For more information about the seasonal flu shot, visit:

The NSW Immunisation Program is based on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) funded by the Australian Government and the program funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. The NSW Immunisation Schedule specifies the immunisations NSW residents should receive at specific times of our life from birth to adults. Changes to the NSW Immunisation Schedule can be found on the NSW Health website.

Individuals aged 10 to 19 years are eligible to receive free catch-up vaccinations through the National Immunisation Program. They must commence the catch-up schedule before their 20th birthday to be eligible. Refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over are also eligible for a number of free catch-up vaccinations.

For more information on planning catch-up immunisations and who is eligible, visit:

Information regarding the NSW School Vaccination Program and vaccines offered can be found here

Information on how to request your school vaccination records can be found under Immunisation Forms

The Public Health Unit does not provide specific advice on immunisations required for overseas travel to particular countries or regions due to the specialised nature of the information required. Travellers requiring a Yellow Fever vaccination need to visit a medical centre approved by NSW Health. A list of approved Yellow Fever providers in New South Wales can be found on the NSW Health website.

For all travel-related immunisation, you should contact a specialist travel medicine centre. You will probably need to make an appointment and may need to pay up-front for the consultation, although some centres bulk-bill for Medicare card holders. You will need to check these specifics with the centre. There are no government services providing free vaccination for travellers heading overseas.

For more information:

Note: There are many websites that offer advice and information, however, information gathered from websites should not be used as a substitute for a visit to a specialised travel medical centre.

During early childhood, the immune system is still developing. Getting vaccinated helps to strengthen the immune system and protect children from serious diseases. You can view the NSW Immunisation Schedule to find out what vaccinations your child needs and when. Children aged 4 years and under should be vaccinated for:

A free app is also available to remind parents when their children's vaccinations are due.

For more information about early childhood vaccinations, visit:

It is important to stay up-to-date with your vaccinations before, during and after pregnancy.

  • Before pregnancy: it is recommended that you receive the vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), chickenpox (varicella) and hepatitis B. It is important that you avoid becoming pregnant for 28 days following these vaccinations.
  • Whilst you are pregnant: it is recommended that you are vaccinated for whooping cough (pertussis) and the flu. 

For more information about vaccinations for pregnant women, visit:

Vaccinations for older adults are important to reduce your risk of vaccine-preventable diseases as you age. These vaccines are dependent on your age, your job, your travel plans, if you missed any vaccines as a child, or if you identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Vaccinations are recommended for older adults to prevent the flu (influenza), shingles (herpes zoster), and pneumococcal disease. Booster vaccinations are recommended for diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis), especially if around newborn babies. If you missed out on vaccinations as a child, it is recommended that you receive catch-up vaccinations for polio (poliomyelitis)measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox (varicella), and hepatitis B.

For more information about the recommended vaccinations and catch-up vaccinations, you should speak to your doctor or vaccination provider. You can also find more information on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

For futher information go to NCIRS enhanced flu vaccine for people aged 65 years and over.

To contact the Immunisation team email us or phone (02) 9382 8333 during business hours.