2.1.3.40 Immunisation - Approved Exemptions (FTB, CCB)

Summary

This topic explains the approved exemptions for an individual to meet the immunisation requirements for both FTB Part A (2.1.3.10) and CCB (2.1.3.20).

The evidence required to determine whether an individual has an exemption from immunisation is outlined later in this topic.

Note: From 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2015, different approved exemptions have been applied to FA payment (8.1).

Approved exemptions from immunisation

An FTB child has an approved exemption from the FTB Part A and CCB immunisation requirements where:

  • the child has a medical contraindication, or
  • the child has natural immunity, or
  • the child is a part of an approved vaccine study, or
  • the vaccine is temporarily unavailable, or
  • the child is vaccinated overseas, or
  • the Secretary has determined that the child meets the immunisation requirements.

Medical contraindication

Medical contraindication occurs when a general practitioner determines that it is not in the best interests of the child's health to have the child immunised.

For an FTB child to meet the immunisation requirements by medical contraindication, a general practitioner must certify in writing on the approved form that immunising the child would be medically contraindicated under the specifications set out in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Example: A child who suffers from anaphylaxis following a previous dose of the relevant vaccine. If so, a general practitioner may certify that immunisation is medically contraindicated on the approved form.

Act reference: FAAct section 6(3) Medical contraindication, natural immunity and vaccine study

Natural immunity

For an FTB child to meet the immunisation requirements by natural immunity, a general practitioner must certify in writing on the approved form that the child does not require immunisation because they have acquired natural immunity as a result of contracting a disease or diseases.

Generally a natural immunity will only be applied to a specific antigen (not the whole schedule). A natural immunity should be applied for life (based on the clinical assessment of the general practitioner).

Example: A child who has previously contracted measles may have developed a natural immunity to contracting the disease again and therefore, does not need to be immunised against measles again.

Act reference: FAAct section 6(3) Medical contraindication, natural immunity and vaccine study

Approved vaccine study

A child meets the immunisation requirements if the child is a participant in a vaccine study approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Act reference: FAAct section 6(3) Medical contraindication, natural immunity and vaccine study

Temporary unavailability of vaccine

Where an FTB child is not vaccinated as required and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer has declared that the relevant vaccine/s (or all vaccines) are temporarily unavailable the child is considered to meet the immunisation requirements, provided that the child has received all other relevant vaccinations. A child meets the immunisation requirements on this basis only until such a time as the vaccine becomes available.

Act reference: FAAct section 6(4) Temporary unavailability of vaccine

Children vaccinated overseas

An FTB child who was vaccinated in another country meets the immunisation requirements if a recognised immunisation provider (1.1.R.09) completes and signs an immunisation history form for the vaccines administered overseas.

Act reference: FAAct section 6(5) Child vaccinated overseas

Secretary may determine a child meets immunisation requirements

The Secretary can determine a child meets the immunisation requirements where:

  • the person with legal authority to make decisions about the medical treatment of the child does not consent to the child being immunised (the child must not be in the care of this person, and must be in the care of another individual under a child welfare law for the purposes of the FTB Part A supplement),
  • taking action to meet the immunisation requirements would result in the individual or the child being at risk of family violence,
  • the individual is a new permanent humanitarian visa holder and has not had the opportunity to immunise their child,
  • the child has been vaccinated overseas and the child is otherwise unable to meet the immunisation requirements as they are unable to have a recognised immunisation provider certify the child has received the same level of immunisation overseas (FTB only), or
  • where the child is at risk (CCB only).

Act reference: FAAct section 6(6) Secretary decision

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.1.3.10 FTB Immunisation Requirements, 2.1.3.20 CCB Immunisation Requirements

Evidence required to determine exception/exemption

The table below explains the required evidence to determine whether an individual has an exemption from immunisation.

Exception/exemption Evidence required

Medical contraindication

Natural immunity

  • An IM011 Medical Exemption form signed by a general practitioner (1.1.G.12).
Approved vaccine study
  • A signed letter, from the researchers which verifies that the child is a participant of a vaccine study, and
  • evidence that the study is approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Temporary unavailability of vaccine
  • The Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer must certify in writing that a vaccine, or all vaccines are temporarily unavailable.
Child vaccinated overseas
  • An immunisation history form IM013 signed by a recognised immunisation provider, or
  • a signed letter, detailing the vaccines received, from a recognised immunisation provider.
Refusal of consent to vaccination
  • Proof of care arrangements:
    • FTB - evidence of the child welfare law (e.g. state or territory child protection order), or
    • CCB - evidence of a formal or informal care arrangement between the primary carer and the person with legal authority to vaccinate the child.
  • Child is aged under 15 years:
    • Evidence that the individual with legal authority to vaccinate the child does not give authority for the child to be vaccinated, or evidence that authority has not been provided within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Child is aged 15 years or over:
    • Evidence that the child does not consent or has not given consent in a reasonable timeframe to being immunised (e.g. statutory declaration from carer and letter from a recognised immunisation provider that the child has refused).
Risk of family violence
  • Individuals must be referred to a Centrelink social worker and each case will be assessed on a case by case basis. Applicable documentation is to be determined by the Centrelink social worker.
New humanitarian visa holder
  • Their humanitarian visa.
  • Evidence that the child has only been in Australia for less than 6 months and the individual may also have evidence that they intend to have their child immunised or put on a catch up schedule (e.g. evidence of an appointment with a recognised immunisation provider).
Child overseas and remains overseas (FTB only)
  • A letter on official letterhead, signed by an overseas medical practitioner which clearly details the child's full name and DOB, date when the vaccinations were administered, the name of the vaccine and which disease/s that the child was vaccinated against as per the Australian National Immunisation Program including a statement if vaccinations were unavailable.
    Note: Evidence provided in a foreign language will be translated for verification before a determination can be made.
Child is at risk (CCB only)
  • Evidence in the form and manner deemed appropriate by the Secretary will be required in support of an exemption.

Act reference: FAAct section 6 Immunisation requirements

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.I.10 Immunisation requirements (FTB, CCB), 1.2.1 Family Tax Benefit (FTB) - Description, 1.2.4 Child Care Benefit (CCB) - Description

Last reviewed: 8 May 2017