Catch-up vaccination aims to provide the best protection against disease as quickly as possible by completing a child’s recommended vaccination schedule.
Step 1: confirm the child’s vaccination history. Review the child’s vaccination history to determine whether they are up to date. If you cannot confirm previous vaccination, assume the child has not received that vaccine. Children can safely receive most vaccines as additional doses. If you are not sure how to plan the catch-up schedule, or if the catch-up is complicated, seek further advice from your state or territory health authority.
Step 2: plan a catch-up schedule. Consider laboratory testing to guide catch-up vaccination for hepatitis A and B, MMR and varicella. Do not use laboratory testing for other diseases. Do not use past infection to guide the catch-up schedule. Check that any previous doses were received at the correct age and dosing intervals. In almost all cases, do not repeat valid doses — count them as part of the schedule. Use the catch-up resources in the Australian Immunisation Handbook to help plan a catch-up schedule.
Step 3: start the catch-up schedule. Discuss the catch-up schedule with the parent or carer before starting. See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for more details.
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