The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. CCS - immunisation approved exemptions


This topic explains the approved exemptions for an individual (1.1.I.90) to meet the immunisation requirements (1.1.I.10) for CCS.

A recognised immunisation provider (1.1.R.09) may include:

  • a general practitioner that is vocationally registered, or a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), or Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
  • a paediatrician
  • a public health physician
  • an infectious diseases physician, or
  • a clinical immunologist.

Approved exemptions from immunisation

The following table shows the circumstances when a person (1.1.P.80) should be treated as exempt from the immunisation requirements for the purposes of CCS. Any evidence that an individual must supply is listed in the second column of the table.

To update the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), individuals must take evidence to a recognised immunisation provider who will update the AIR, if appropriate.

Exemption circumstance Evidence required

Medical contraindication

A recognised immunisation provider must certify in writing on the approved Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation medical exemption form (IM011 PDF, 148kB) that immunising the child would be medically contraindicated under the specifications set out in the current Australian Immunisation Handbook.
Natural immunity

A recognised immunisation provider must certify in writing on the approved Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation medical exemption form (IM011) that the child does not require immunisation because the child has acquired a natural immunity as a result of contracting a disease or diseases.

Generally, a natural immunity exemption will only be applied to a specific antigen (not the whole schedule). A natural immunity exemption should be applied for life (based on the clinical assessment of a recognised immunisation provider).

Approved vaccine study A child is a participant in a vaccine study. A signed letter from the researchers must be provided 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 A child who was vaccinated in another country meets the immunisation requirements if a recognised immunisation provider completes and signs the Australian Immunisation Register immunisation history form (IM013 PDF, 145kB) for the vaccines administered overseas and provides a signed letter detailing the vaccines received.
Secretary's exemption

Refusal of consent to vaccination:

  • evidence of a formal or informal care arrangement between the primary carer and the individual with legal authority to vaccinate the child to show proof of care, and
  • if the child is aged under 14 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 (e.g. statutory declaration from carer and letter from authority that the person with legal authority has not provided consent), or
  • if the child is aged 14 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 or a letter from a recognised immunisation provider that the child has refused).

Note: Where biological parents of the child/ren are separated and there is a court order in place that includes a clause stating both parents are unable to vaccinate their child/ren without agreement from the other parent an exemption from immunisation may be approved with evidence. If the biological parents of the child/ren are separated and there is no court order in place, either parent may exercise their parental responsibilities, either independently or jointly, regarding making medical decisions such as choosing to vaccinate.

Risk of family violence (1.1.F.15):

  • 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.

Permanent humanitarian visa holder:

  • the individual's new permanent humanitarian visa, and
  • evidence the child has been in Australia (1.1.A.120) for less than 6 months.

Note: The individual may also have evidence that they intend to have their child immunised or put on a catch up schedule according to the current Australian Immunisation Handbook (e.g. evidence of an appointment with a recognised immunisation provider).

Child would be at increased risk (1.1.A.110) of serious abuse or neglect:

  • an approved provider's (1.1.A.90) eligibility for ACCS (child wellbeing) is being assessed, and
  • an application in the form and manner deemed appropriate by the Secretary will be required in support of an exemption.

Unacceptable risk of harm to the child or a person administering the vaccination

  • a listed medical practitioner (1.1.M.40) has certified in writing, on an approved form, that immunisation of the child would result in an unacceptable risk of physical harm to the child or a person administering a vaccination to the child, and
  • the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer has certified in writing that he or she agrees with the listed medical practitioner.

Note: A recipient (1.1.R.07) can seek referral to a listed medical practitioner through a general practitioner or a state or territory health department.

Act reference: FAAct section 4 Minister's power to make determinations for the purposes of the definition of immunised, section 6 Immunisation requirements

Family Assistance (Immunisation and Vaccination) (Education) Determination 2018

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.2.1 Family tax benefit (FTB) - description, 1.2.6 Child care subsidy (CCS) - description, CCS immunisation requirements, Immunisation - approved exemptions (FTB), 2.6.1 CCS eligibility

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