Vaccine preventable diseases are endemic and/or epidemic in countries of origin of refugee families and disruptions to health care may affect vaccine quality and access to immunisation.

It is important that immunsation status is addressed in all refugees. it should be noted that no-one arriving as a refugee will be vaccinated and up to date according to the Australian immunisaiton schedule, due to differences in country of origin schedules (vaccine schedule by country).

It is also important for healthcare professionals to clarify whether immunisation has been commenced post-arrival and if there is a plan in place.

The RCH immigrant health service has produced an excellent comprehensive ‘catch-up’ guideline (see Resources below).


The RCH Immigrant Health Service: Catch-up vaccines in refugees

Victorian Refugee Health Network


Reviewed by: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Nurse Educator)
Date: July 2016
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.

Melbourne University

Welcome to MVEC

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) is a new web-based initiative, providing up-to-date immunisation information for healthcare professionals, parents and the public.

It is a collaboration between The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and its Melbourne Children’s campus partners (Murdoch Children's Research Institute and The University of Melbourne) and Monash Health.

MVEC aims to address common queries around vaccines and to promote the benefits of immunisation for both children and adults.