The department supports the immunisation of children before they enter preschool and kindergarten in NSW public schools to protect them against outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Preschool enrolment and immunisation
Preschools cannot enrol a child unless the parent/carer has provided documentation that shows that the child:
- is fully vaccinated for their age, or
- has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, or
- is on a recognised catch-up schedule if their child has fallen behind with their vaccinations.
This is a requirement of the Public Health Amendment (Review) 2017.
School enrolment and the Immunisation History Statement
When enrolling a child in a NSW public primary or secondary school, parents/carers will be asked to provide an Immunisation History Statement. Parents can request an Immunisation History Statement by contacting the Australian Immunisation Register.
Public high schools should note that students who are coming from public primary schools should already have this in their records, so high schools do not need to ask parents/carers for it again.
A child without an Immunisation History Statement will not be prevented from enrolling. Under the NSW Public Health Act, however, children without proof of immunisation may be asked by Public Health Officials to stay at home during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.
Further information about the requirements for schools is available via NSW Health.
NSW School Vaccination Program
High schools cooperate with NSW Health to implement NSW School vaccination Program.
Parents/carers of children enrolled in distance education can access free vaccines from their doctor, Aboriginal Medical Service or community health centre.
Parent information kit
Public Health Units contact principals to discuss arrangements for the NSW school Vaccination program clinics. Parent information kits are forwarded to the school for distribution to parents/carers via their child prior to the first clinic (usually held in February/March).
Only students who have the consent form signed by their parent/legal guardian will be vaccinated. Students aged 18 years and over may sign the consent form for themselves.
A parent/legal guardian or a student aged 18 years or over who signs their own consent form can revoke their consent at any time prior to the vaccination.
Information for parents/legal guardians on how to withdraw consent can be accessed from the NSW Health website.
Schools can access the procedure to follow if a parent/legal guardian contacts the school to withdraw their consent (DOCM 53.28KB).
Enquiries about the vaccination program can be directed to your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.
Requirements for schools to notify NSW Health of a vaccine preventable disease
Principals must contact the local public health unit on 1300 066 055 to notify any of the following vaccine preventable diseases:
- Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
- Meningoccocal disease
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Rubella (German measles)
Notifying cases of these vaccine preventable diseases to the Public Health Unit by the school principal is a requirement of the NSW Public Health Act 2010.