Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Australia, 2003 to 2005

Childhood Vaccination Schedule 1998 to 2005

Disclaimer: This is the fourth report on vaccine preventable disease and vaccination coverage in Australia, and is produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing published as a supplement to the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal Volume 31, June 2007.

Page last updated: 20 July 2007

There have been a series of changes to recommended vaccines for children 0–6 years of age between 1998 and 2005.


The first change was in the second half of 1998, when the second dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine (previously recommended at 10–16 years of age) was moved to 4 years of age at the time of the national Measles Control Campaign. The next change occurred in May 2000, when two distinct paths were introduced for children born on or after 1 May 2000,76 using different combination vaccines, outlined in Table 27. Pathway 1, followed by New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, used hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine in a combination with diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTPa) vaccine, while Pathway 2, followed by Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, used Hep B in combination with Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. This meant that from May 2000, full vaccination at 12 months of age (first milestone) required three doses of DTPa and oral poliomyelitis (OPV) vaccines, two doses of Hib and either two or three doses of Hep B vaccine, depending on the pathway adopted. Full Hib immunisation at 12 months of age required two doses of PRP-OMP. Full Hep B immunisation at 12 months required either three doses of combined DTPa-Hep B (Pathway 1) or two doses of combined Hib-Hep B vaccine (Pathway 2). The neonatal dose of HepB vaccine (scheduled for all newborns since May 2000) was not included in ACIR coverage estimates. In the second year of life, a dose of MMR vaccine remained at 12 months of age as well as booster doses of Hib vaccine (at 12 months) and DTPa (at 18 months) and under Pathway 2 this Hib vaccine was given with Hep B vaccine. In the fifth year of life, a second dose of MMR vaccine was scheduled as well as booster doses of DTPa and OPV.


Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine was recommended and funded at 12 months of age from January 2003. In September 2003, the DTPa booster dose at 18 months of age was no longer recommended. Consequently all vaccines in the second year of life for non-Indigenous children were given at 12 months of age. Also in September 2003, the recommended schedule was changed to include universal 7-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, varicella-zoster vaccine at 18 months of age, and inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine in place of oral vaccine, although these recommendations were not funded. In January 2005, universal 7-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine was funded and, in May 2005, the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule replaced the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule (ASVS) for children aged 0–6 years, with all recommended vaccines to be funded, including varicella-zoster vaccine and inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine from November 2005.

Table 27. Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule 2005 for children

Birth Hep B              
2 months Hep B*,† DTPa Hib†,‡ IPV     7vPCV  
4 months Hep B*,† DTPa Hib†,‡ IPV     7vPCV  
6 months Hep B* DTPa Hib IPV     7vPCV  
12 months Hep B   Hib   MMR     MenCCV
18 months           VZV 23vPPV§  
4 years   DTPa   IPV MMR      

* Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis/Hep B vaccine from May 2000 (Pathway 1) (three doses, at 2, 4 and 6 months of age).

† Hib PRP-OMP/hep B from May 2000 (Pathway 2) (three doses, at 2, 4 and 12 months of age).

‡ Hib PRP-OMP (Pathway 1) from May 2000 (three doses, at 2, 4 and 6 months of age).

§ 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in high prevalence jurisdictions only from September 2003.

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