Australian Immunisation Register for health professionals

Information for vaccination providers about the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Eligible pharmacies can now apply to become vaccination providers before the next flu season.
On 30 September 2016, the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) became the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), a national register that records vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia.

About

What you need to know

We administer the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) - on behalf of the Department of Health.

The AIR is a national register that records vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia. Recognised vaccination providers send their patient’s immunisation details to the AIR.

Vaccination providers get a payment for a completed vaccination schedule given to children under 7 years of age. This is referred to as an ‘information payment’.

The AIR:

  • monitors immunisation coverage levels and service delivery, and can be used to identify regions at risk during disease outbreaks
  • provides reports, to you upon request, to help identify patients due or overdue for immunisation, and
  • makes an information payment to vaccination providers who administer and submit details to the AIR of a completed vaccination schedule for children under 7 years of age

Data from the AIR:

  • lets you check the immunisation status of an individual, regardless of who immunised them
  • is used to provide an Immunisation History Statement
  • provides information about a child's immunisation status to help determine eligibility for Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement, and
  • is used to measure coverage at a national, state, territory and local level

Vaccination provider information payments

You get an information payment when you complete a vaccination schedule for an eligible individual and submit the details to the AIR. It must be a National Immunsation Program (NIP) vaccine that is age based.

View the National Immunisation Program Schedule on the Department of Health Immunise Australia Program website.

Information payments

The information payment is:

  • up to $6 per completed immunisation schedule for children under 7  years of age, and
  • paid by Electronic Funds Transfer at the end of each calendar month

To receive payment you need to provide your bank account details when you:

To update your bank account details on the AIR:

You’ll get an immunisation payment statement summary for information received by the AIR. The statement also includes details of services where you need to provide more information. You can add information or make changes on the relevant page of your statement, scan it and email it to the AIR. You can also post or fax.

Immunisation encounter details received by the AIR during the last month will be included in the Immunisation Notifications Reconciliation report.

This report is available online through the AIR site and you can see details of claims processed since your last statement for your reconciliation.

You can also opt out of receiving future hard copy immunisation payment statements.

Catch up incentive payments for vaccination providers

We’ll pay an additional $6 incentive payment to vaccination providers who follow up and vaccinate children under 7 years of age who are more than 2 months overdue for their childhood vaccinations.

You’ll be eligible to get a catch up payment if:

  • the child has received all the scheduled vaccines for that NIP schedule point, ie. either at 2, 4, 6, 12, 18 months or 4 years, and
  • you’re the vaccination provider who completed the catch up schedule and submitted the details to the AIR

This payment recognises the time spent identifying children in your practice who are overdue for vaccinations and calling them in to get the catch up vaccines.

This is on top of the existing $6 payment for submitting information to the AIR.

Identifying overdue children

There are a number of reports available from the AIR website to help you identify children who are overdue for immunisation, including:

  • ACIR010A - AIR Due/Overdue Practice Report
  • ACIR011A - Due/Overdue report by locality
  • ACIR011B - Due/overdue report by vaccination provider

To get these reports go to accessing the AIR using HPOS.

We’ll pay the catch up incentive payment at the same time as the standard AIR notification payments. It’ll show on your monthly immunisation payment statement summary.

Details will be included in the Immunisation Notifications Reconciliation report available online through the AIR site. You can access details of claims processed since your last statement for your reconciliation.

Immunisation schedule

The Department of Health is responsible for the Immunise Australia Program. The program aims to increase national immunisation rates by:

  • funding free vaccination programs, and
  • communicating information about immunisation to the public and health professionals

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule specifies the ages individuals in Australia should get certain vaccinations.

Go to the National Immunisation Program Schedule on the Department of Health Immunise Australia Program website.

State and territory health departments provide specific jurisdictional information about immunisation. For more information go to the website that’s relevant to you:

Medical exemptions

The Department of Health’s Australian Immunisation Handbook lists valid medical reasons why an individual is exempt from immunisation. 

If the individual meets these requirements, you can approve a medical exemption.

Parents and guardians may use the medical exemption to meet the immunisation requirements for Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement.

They may also need to prove a valid exemption for childcare or school enrolment.

If an individual has a valid medical exemption recorded, it will display on their Immunisation history statement.

The immunisation exemptions are:

  • medical contraindication - use the Australian Immunisation Handbook guidelines on the Department of Health’s website, to help you decide if an individual is exempt from immunisation due to an approved medical condition, and
  • natural immunity to a disease - in your professional opinion, the individual doesn’t need a vaccine because they have a natural immunity to the disease

GPs must submit an individual’s medical exemption to the AIR on the Australian Immunisation Register - Immunisation Medical Exemption form.

The AIR can only accept medical exemption notifications from GPs.

There are only 2 absolute contraindications applicable to all vaccines:

  • anaphylaxis following a previous dose of the relevant vaccine
  • anaphylaxis following any component of the relevant vaccine

False contraindications to vaccination

No-one should be denied the benefits of vaccination by withholding vaccines for inappropriate reasons.

The following conditions are not contraindications to any National Immunisation Program vaccines:

  • mild illness without fever (T <38.5oC)
  • family history of any adverse events following immunisation
  • past history of convulsions
  • treatment with antibiotics
  • treatment with locally acting (inhaled or low-dose topical) steroids
  • replacement corticosteroids
  • asthma, eczema, atopy, hay fever or ‘snuffles’
  • previous infection with the same pathogen
  • prematurity (vaccination shouldn’t be postponed and can be given if the infant is medically stable).
  • history of neonatal jaundice
  • low weight in an otherwise healthy child
  • neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy and Down syndrome
  • contact with an infectious disease
  • child’s mother is pregnant
  • child to be vaccinated is being breastfed
  • woman to be vaccinated is breastfeeding
  • recent or imminent surgery
  • poorly documented vaccination history

Recording a natural immunity to a disease means the individual isn’t required to receive that vaccine to be considered up to date for immunisation. A natural immunity can only be recorded on the AIR for hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

GPs are required to advise the AIR about natural immunity using the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation Medical Exemption form (IM011). We can only accept notifications from GPs.

Complete the Australian Immunisation Register - Immunisation Medical Exemption form to identify which vaccines an individual can’t have, whether the contraindication is temporary or permanent, or which vaccines aren’t required due to natural immunity. This form must be used and only submitted by GPs.

Forms with invalid medical reasons or not signed are returned. It is not necessary to write a letter giving a patient’s history or further information. The department will accept the completed form as evidence. This could affect family assistance payments to families.

Register

Patients

Individuals enrolled in Medicare are automatically included on the AIR. Individuals who aren’t eligible to enrol in Medicare are added to the AIR when you submit vaccination details.

To ensure the accuracy of our data, it’s important to remind patients to notify Medicare of any change to their address and other details.

General practitioners (GPs)

If you’re a GP, you’re automatically recognised as a vaccination provider and authorised to submit or get immunisation data from the AIR.

Read about accessing AIR using HPOS.

Other vaccination providers

If you’re not a GP, you can also apply to become a recognised vaccination provider.

Read about registering and requesting access.

Complete the Australian Immunisation Register - Application to Register as a Vaccination Provider form and send it to your state or territory health department for approval. When we get the approved form, a unique AIR registration number is allocated to identify you as a vaccination provider.

You’ll get a letter detailing your AIR registration number. Use this number when you send immunisation details to the AIR.

Managing

Submitting immunisation information

Only recognised vaccination providers can submit immunisation information to the AIR. Only a vaccination provider in Australia can submit details of vaccinations given while an individual is overseas.

The accuracy of the AIR depends on how quickly we get the correct information from vaccination providers. You should submit information to the AIR at the time of vaccination.

Delays in submitting data, particularly childhood immunisations, can result in incomplete Immunisation History Statements. This could result in:

  • a family losing eligibility for Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate or Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement
  • delaying enrolment to childcare or school
  • delaying commencement of some types of employment
  • delays in family and friends accessing newborns until they can prove that they received whooping cough vaccination

The AIR records vaccinations given after 1 January 1996. Use an individual’s Medicare card and reference number to identify them on the AIR when you submit vaccination information.

You will need to provide the full name, date of birth, gender and address for individuals not enrolled in Medicare. This creates a record on the AIR.

How to submit information

When a vaccination is given to an individual, their details should be submitted promptly to the AIR.  There are 4 ways you can submit information to the AIR:

Keep sending data to the AIR through your state or territory health department if you already do.

Deceased individuals

We take all possible care to avoid adding to the distress of bereaved families. If you know about the death of an individual, inform AIR by sending the details on your practice stationery or by contacting the AIR.

Accessing AIR using HPOS

You can use the AIR through HPOS to submit immunisation records, view immunisation history, request reports and update provider contact details.

Read more about accessing AIR using HPOS

Help using AIR online for health professionals

Learn how to record immunisation encounters, immunisation medical exemptions and update vaccine details on the AIR.

Read more about help using AIR online for health professionals

Resources

Reports available from the AIR site

The AIR produces statistical, identified and access reports for authorised vaccination providers registered to use AIR.

Read more about reports available from the AIR secure site

National due and overdue rules for immunisation

The AIR national due and overdue rules for immunisation information are based on the Australian Immunisation Handbook, to help you better understand how the AIR works.

AIR vaccine code formats

There are vaccine codes for software products that send claims to the AIR through Medicare online claiming.

Read more about AIR vaccine code formats

Related payments and services

Page last updated: 13 October 2017