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Who can be immunised?

Health professionals

Find information that will help you deliver your service to your patients

What medical conditions influence whether you can be immunised?

Most people can be immunised, except for people with certain medical conditions and people who are severely allergic (anaphylactic) to vaccine ingredients.

Certain medical conditions may influence whether you can be immunised. Your ability to be immunised may change when your condition changes. You should consult your doctor before immunisation if you:

  • have a fever of more than 38.5°C on the day
  • are receiving a medical treatment such as chemotherapy
  • have had a bad reaction to a vaccine in the past
  • are planning pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are an organ transplant recipient
  • have an autoimmune disease or chronic condition.

Who cannot be immunised?

The only people who cannot ever be immunised are people who have had severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to vaccines ingredients which is rare.

In general, people that should not receive live vaccines include:  

  • people who are significantly immunocompromised , for example people undergoing a treatment that suppresses the immune system, such as chemotherapy
  • pregnant women.

Check with your doctor before vaccination if you or your child falls into any of the groups above.

What if you are unwell?

If you or your child have a minor illness and do not have a fever, you can be safely and effectively vaccinated.

If you or your child has a major illness or have a fever of 38.5°C or more, you should delay vaccination until you are well.

If you are unsure, ask your doctor or health clinic staff.

Should you get vaccinated if you have allergies?

This depends on the allergy you have. Always ask for medical advice to determine whether you can safely receive vaccinations.

What if you or your child are egg-sensitive?

A number of studies show that most people with anaphylaxis or allergy to eggs can be safely vaccinated.

If you are unsure, ask your doctor or health clinic staff.

What if you have a reaction after receiving a vaccination?

It is important to report negative reactions to a vaccination. This gives us a better understanding of the safety of vaccines.

You can report adverse events to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) or to your relevant state or territory health department.

In general, most children who have had a reaction to a vaccination can be safely re-vaccinated. Immunisation specialist services are available in some states. They can advise whether your child needs more testing or precautions before receiving further vaccines. Contact your state or territory health department for details about these services. 

What if a family member has had a reaction to an immunisation?

Adverse reactions are not hereditary. You should not avoid immunisations because another family member has had a reaction to a vaccine.

Last updated: 
30 November 2017