Childhood Pneumococcal Immunisation Provider Guidelines: Updated 5 September 2011

Page last updated: 20 April 2015

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Summary table – pneumococcal vaccination schedule for children 5 years of age)

Prevenar 13®
All states and territories
Pneumovax 23®
All children
2*, 4, and 6 months of age
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children residing in QLD, SA and WA aged 18-24 months**
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children residing in the NT
(NT government funded)
18 months of age
Children with underlying medical conditions
2*, 4, 6 and 12 months of age
4- 5 years
* May be given from 6 weeks of age.

**During the period 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012 these children may be eligible for 13vPCV rather than 23vPPV.

What changes have been made to the pneumococcal vaccine available on the National Immunisation Program (NIP)?

On 1 July 2011, a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (13vPCV, Prevenar 13®) replaced the 7‑valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vPCV, Prevenar®) on the NIP in all states and territories except the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory will start using 13vPCV in its program on 1 October 2011.

The vaccine, 13vPCV provides protection against an additional six serotypes, which can cause invasive pneumococcal disease, that were not previously covered by 7vPCV. This includes disease associated with the increasingly predominant serotype 19A.

How will this change affect children who have already started a course of 7vPCV or 10vPCV?

Children who have received one or two doses of 7vPCV or 10vPCV will complete their course using 13vPCV.

Who is eligible to receive free pneumococcal conjugate vaccine?

13vPCV is being provided for free to children at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. A fourth dose is provided for free for children with underlying medical conditions1 at 12 months of age.

Children with underlying medical conditions1 also receive a dose of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV, Pneumovax 23®) between 4 and 5 years of age.

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What is the pneumococcal immunisation schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children residing in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia receive a primary course of 13vPCV at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. In these states, a dose of 23vPPV is given between the ages 18 months to 24 months. During the period 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012 these children do not require a booster dose of 23vPPV if they receive the supplementary dose of 13vPCV.

In the Northern Territory, the Territory Government will fund 13vPCV at 18 months of age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Can pneumococcal vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?

There may be a small increased risk of fever / febrile convulsions with the co-administration of trivalent influenza and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in children 12 months to 35 months of age.

The advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is that these vaccines may be given together or with any other vaccines in the primary schedule and that providers discuss this small risk of co-administration with seasonal influenza vaccine with parents prior to administration of 13vPCV. If there are strong parental concerns, these vaccines may be administered separately using an interval of at least three days between each vaccine.

How can I get more information?

Go to the Immunise Australia Program website at: Immunise Australia Program Website, or contact your local state or territory health department.

1See Australian Immunisation Handbook, 9th Edition, 2008

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