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Guidelines for the
Vaccination Program
Table of Contents
Executive summary
Purpose of guidelines
Guiding principles for school-based vaccination program
Legislation supporting school-based immunisation
Role of the Department of Health
Role and Responsibility of Health Services
Appendix 1 – Medication management guidelines for nurses and midwives
Appendix 2 – Annual nursing management responsibility
Appendix 3 – Access to clinical advice
Appendix 4 – Essential resources required for the delivery of a school-based vaccination
Appendix 5 – Step-by-step implementation of the WA SBVP
Appendix 6 – Consent for vaccination
Appendix 7 – Supporting non-English speaking parents/guardians
Appendix 8 – Vaccination day preparation
Appendix 9 – Flow chart for needle-stick injury with body fluids
Appendix 10 – Ensuring a safe and sensitive environment pre-vaccination checklist
Appendix 11 – Arrival and set up at school
Appendix 12 – Preparing vaccines
Appendix 13 – Management of anxious students
Appendix 14 – Vaccination of students
Appendix 15 – Vaccines distribution, storage and cold chain maintenance
Appendix 16 – Adverse events following immunisation
Appendix 17 – Data collection
Sample Letters
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Executive summary
Vaccination has proven to be a successful public health strategy in the control and elimination
of communicable diseases. However, significant challenges exist to deliver a comprehensive
school-based immunisation program across the Department of Health’s four Health Services,
which include nine Population Health Units with varying modes of service delivery for which
families have differing degrees of access.
There is also the complexity of working through the numerous bodies – public, private and
independent schools, school of the air, and Aboriginal community services – that provide
education services in Western Australia.
The school-based immunisation program is a funded national immunisation program that offers
all eligible students the opportunity to become protected against vaccine preventable diseases.
Vaccines offered to school students are:
booster doses to vaccines already administered to students between the ages of 0-4
years, e.g.diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa)
vaccines to specific age groups, e.g. Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV), which is only
registered and eligible for female and male students from 12 years of age
catch up vaccines where vaccines are given for a limited time until the cohort has caught
up, e.g. chickenpox (varicella).
The WA Immunisation Strategy highlights the fact that a robust immunisation service requires a
coordinated effort, and human and physical resources from many stakeholders to ensure
optimal vaccination coverage.
The program success depends on services:
 offering an information consent pack to all parents/guardians in WA that includes
information in different languages to encourage parents to acknowledge the benefits of
immunisation and to ensure that their child is fully protected
 following up with parents/guardians of non-returned immunisation consent forms
 negotiating a date with each school to conduct an immunisation day
 alerting parents to the date and time of vaccination
 administering vaccines including catch up vaccination according to the WA Health
immunisation schedule
 offering holistic care, e.g. consent checking, observation following immunisation,
responding to adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) reporting, contacting
parents to advise them that their child has had an AEFI, collection of data and entering
data into the school-based vaccination database in a timely manner
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
following up absent students and negotiating alternative options for accessing
providing parents/guardians with a final report of student’s immunisation encounters and
an immunisation uptake report to each school.
Purpose of guidelines
The purpose of these guidelines is to assist Health Services and Public and Community Health
Services to understand the key components required to deliver a school-based immunisation
program. Key responsibilities include preparation, delivery, monitoring and recording of vaccines
administered through the School-based Vaccination Program (SBVP) in WA.
This guideline provides the following components:
 roles of Health Service managers
 roles of Department of Health, Prevention and Control (PCP)
 understanding adhering to the supporting Operational Directives
 gaining parental consent
 liaising with Educational bodies
 preparation for school based immunisation
 cold chain monitoring and transporting vaccines to school sites
 preparing for and managing anaphylaxis
 ordering and storage of vaccines
 data collection
 reporting Adverse events following immunisation
 working within the AHPRA framework and legislation
 check lists for daily activities.
Detailed information relating to roles, responsibilities and recommended clinical practice for
delivering a school-based immunisation program is included in the attached appendices for the
purpose of assisting new immunisation team nurses.
These guidelines apply to all health service staff involved in the delivery of a SBVP.
Registered nurses employed by the Department of Health to deliver vaccines through child
health immunisation clinics and school-based immunisation programs must have completed an
endorsed immunisation certificate to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and competence
required to deliver vaccination, as outlined in the department’s Vaccine Administration Code
Regulations 37B (VACR) (refer to appendix 1, 2, 3).
All nursing activities must take place in the context of the nurse’s scope of practice and agreed
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
principles of delegation and levels of supervision at the local level – Guidelines for registration
standards (external site).
Immunisation activities should be supported by the policies, procedures and local protocols that
have been developed in accordance with service needs and intended outcomes of the
workplace (refer to appendix 4).
All registered nurses are accountable for making decisions based on the Immunisation
Handbook recommendations, and what is within their own competence and scope of practice
(refer to appendix 1).
Guiding principles for school-based vaccination program
Department of Health legislation, policy, relevant professional standards and Codes of Conduct
will be adopted by health service and local government staff when implementing a SBVP (refer
to appendix 1) to:
 promote a philosophy within the health services and local government council clinics to
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of available personnel and resources
 ensure that the SBVP is offered to all eligible Year 8 students in Western Australia
attending public/private and special/home school educational programs
 ensure that students attending Year 8 school programs in private/public and special
schools will be offered a high-quality SBVP delivered by highly-competent registered
nurses with expertise in immunisation.
 achieve vaccination coverage of 95 per cent of the eligible population.
Legislation supporting school-based immunisation
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). National Competency Standards for the
Registered Nurse 2007 and the Enrolled Nurse 2002.
ANMC Code of Ethics for Nurses (2008).
ANMC Code of Professional Conduct Nurses (2008).
(ANMC) National Framework for the development of decision making tools for nursing and
midwifery practice 2007.
ANMC Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010.
Australian Government Department of Human Services – Australian Childhood immunisation
Register 1996.
Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth).
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
WA Occupational Safety and Health 1984.
WA Occupational Safety and Health Regulation 1996.
WA Poisons Act 1964 and Poisons Regulations 1965, Vaccine Administration Code 2012.
WA School Education Act 1999 (WA) and School Education Regulations 2000 (WA).
WA Notification of Adverse Event after Immunisation Regulations 1995 (Regulation 4).
5.1 National documents
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). Medication Management Guidelines for
Nurses and Midwives 2010.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). National Competency Standards for the
Registered Nurse (external site).
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register website (external site).
Commonwealth of Australia. Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition 2013 (or current
Commonwealth of Australia. Australian National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’
(external site).
Commonwealth of Australia. Health (Notification of Adverse Event After Immunisation)
Regulations 1995 (Regulations 4) (external site).
5.2 Supporting Department of Health documents
Operational Directive OD 0415/13 Guidelines for Department of Health Vaccination Programs –
School and Community Health Immunisation (or amended version) that advise registered
nurses of their professional responsibility in working within the various legislative and
professional body guidelines.
WA Immunisation Schedule 2015 (amended periodically).
Operational Directive OD 0355/11 Vaccine Cold Chain Guidelines.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
The DoH Vaccine Administration Code Regulations 37B (VACR) of the Poisons Act 1965 or
subsequent regulations.
Operational Directive 0488/14 Homeopathic Immunisation.
Operational Directive OD 0429/13 National Hand Hygiene Initiative in Western Australian
Operational Directive OD 0388/12 Health Care Worker Immunisation Policy.
Operational Directive OD 0394/12 Policy for Health Care Workers known to be infected with
Blood-borne disease.
Operational Directive OD 0237/09 Hepatitis B Vaccination Program.
Operational Directive OD 0385/12 National Recommendations for User-Applied Labelling of
Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines.
Rural and remote policies relating to the use of medications 2011.
Clinical and related waste management-Clinical Wastes OD0259/09.
Patient Information Retention and Disposal Schedule, version 4, 2014.
Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS).
Role of the Department of Health
The DoH, Prevention and Control (PCP) will:
 oversee the procurement of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines for the
SBVP, and the ordering and distribution of vaccines in Western Australia (refer to
appendix 15)
 institute strategies to monitor the delivery and surveillance of post-vaccine reactions
through the Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) reporting system
to ensure that quality assurance standards in the delivery of the SBVP are of a high order
(refer to appendix 15, 16)
 support and provide health services with supporting resource material and ongoing
information to ensure the delivery of a high-quality SBVP. This includes NIP vaccines,
consent forms and resource materials to promote the program at no cost to the school
(refer to appendix 4, 5, 6, 7)
 establish strategic and policy frameworks for the SBVP
 authorise the SBVP vaccines through provision of a vaccine schedule and take
responsibility to update or amend the schedule as necessary
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
liaise with the Department of Education (DoE) at the start of each calendar year to
download the Year 8 student enrolment data for public schools to populate the PCP
school-vaccination program database (refer to appendix 11, 12)
provide an annual Contract/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each health
service and local government council outlining the SBVP administration model for the
nominated year (refer to appendix 1)
provide a SBVP database for collation of vaccines administered and allow designated
registered nurses/officers access to the database for the purpose of entering student
vaccine uptake (refer to appendix 19)
receive, validate and analyse vaccination data and provide parents with a report of
vaccines given to their child in the Year 8 school program at the end of the school year
(refer to appendix 19)
undertake surveillance of adverse events following immunisation
provide regular communication forums to offer SBVP coordinators the opportunity to
raise concerns or issues and to provide them with NIP updated information (refer to
appendix 14)
provide schools and health services with an annual report of their SBVP uptake (refer to
appendix 19).
Role and Responsibility of Health Services
Each region across the WA Country Health Services (WACHs) and Community and Adolescent
Community Health Services (CACHs) and local Government Councils (LGCs) in the
metropolitan area are responsible for coordinating the SBVP within their regional/geographical
All health services and local government services shall:
 ensure staff are cognisant of, and comply with the:
o WA governing legislation including WA Poisons Act 1965 and VACR 2014
o National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines
o Current edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook
o Strive for 5, Myths and Realities, Information for Providers and the
WA Immunisation Schedule
o Department of Health Operational Directives.
 ensure that the SBVP is delivered to eligible students in public, private and special/home
schools in regional, remote and metropolitan WA
 provide vaccination teams of qualified staff in accordance with the department’s Vaccine
Administration Code, Regulations 37B (VACR) of the Poisons Act 1965 or subsequent
regulations (Refer to Appendix 1)
 promote best practice recommendations; that is, to have a minimum of two registered
immunisation nurses to conduct immunisation. (One registered nurse is insufficient to
administer vaccinations as well as deal with queries from staff, parents and students,
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
fainters, adverse reactions, anxious students and reviewing any last minute consent
forms. These hold-ups disrupt the flow of vaccinations and allocated time frames, disrupt
school programs and could be seen to be unprofessional. However, if this is not feasible
because of the remoteness of a school location and/or low numbers of students,
alternative support should be provided, such as negotiating with DoE administration staff,
teacher, health employee non-immunisers to assist the registered nurse.)
ensure that this program is delivered under the delegation of the Public Health physician
or the authorising medical officer in instances where registered nurses who do not have
immunisation competency are employed on a temporary basis to deliver the
immunisation program (refer to appendix 1, 2)
be responsible for developing local protocols and standards relating to the administration
of medications/vaccines according to the Registered Nurses and Midwives Boards of
Australia (NMBA) and the WA Department of Health Poisons Act 1965 and Regulations
1964/65 (refer to appendix 1, 10)
ensure that registered nurses are in keeping with the AHPRA recommendations
Medication Management for nurses and midwives; and any delegation and/or supervision
of any medication management (i.e. drawing up of vaccines) to others are in keeping with
the other person’s ability and scope of practice. This means, according to the Registered
Nurses and Midwives Board’s Scope of Practice Decision-Making Framework (2007),
nurses need to be qualified and competent in delivering immunisation programs (refer to
appendix 1, 2, 10, 12).
The scope of practice for medication management includes:
 competence, accountability and autonomy
 ongoing professional development
 Being aware of the Health Practitioner Regulations law (WA) support for professional
nursing practice
 delegation and emergency situations.
 providing nurses with sufficient time before vaccination day as best practice because it
allows sufficient time to contact parents and discuss queries (the parent may need to
phone back). This creates less stress on vaccination day, minimises disruptions, reduces
mistakes and streamlines the day’s procedure (refer to appendix 13)
 providing support staff (e.g. administrative staff) to support the vaccination teams
 providing the necessary equipment and resources (e.g. purpose-built vaccine
refrigerators, coolers/portable fridges, resuscitation equipment and computers, policy
documents and transport required to deliver the SBVP effectively and efficiently (refer to
appendix 9, 15).
Immunisation team nurses should:
 coordinate the planning and implementation of the immunisation program within their
area and include planning strategies for evaluating and reviewing the program
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
negotiate with each school regarding arrangements and time frames for delivery of the
SBVP (refer to appendix 4, 7,8,9,13)
distribute consent forms provided by the department PCP to schools at the start of the
new school term, and collect consent forms before school immunisation visit (refer to
appendix 6)
retain immunisation records according to WA Department of Health records policy
enter the details of Year 8 students eligible to receive SBVP vaccines into the state
Department of Health school database, including consent and vaccination records
offer students who were absent on the immunisation day catch-up options (e.g. visit
school again, refer to GP or community immunisation clinics)
order SBVP vaccines according to department online ordering system (refer to appendix
maintain cold chain storage according to Department of Health PCP Vaccine Cold Chain
OD 0355/11 and report all cold chain incidents and other wastage to the Public Health
Unit (PHU), regional immunisation coordinator (RIC), who will collate and forward to
Department of Health PCP (refer to appendix 15)
ensure that all registered nurses are aware of their responsibility to report adverse
reactions following vaccine to WAVSS (refer to appendix 16)
work in collaboration with the DoH, PCP and RICs to:
o improve immunisation coverage rates for the SBVP
o improve program delivery
o improve consumer confidence in vaccination programs
o institute measures to prevent and manage clinical incidents and adverse events
o provide Department of Health PCP with student numbers for private schools in
September each year, and class lists in early February to populate the SBVP
o provide SBVP vaccine completion report to the RIC, Department of Health PCP at
the end of the school year.
Review of guidelines
These guidelines will be reviewed on a three-yearly basis when the Immunisation Handbook is
updated, or in the event of a recommended change to the content of the document.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 1 – Medication management guidelines for nurses and midwives
Registered nurses working in Department of Health community and public health programs
should familiarise themselves with the scope of practice for registered nurses and midwives on
the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s website (external site).
Fact sheets are available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s website (external
site) to assist nurses in understanding their responsibility to meet the recommended standards
and codes.
Registered nurse competency standards – January 2006 – rebranded*
Framework for assessing national competency standards – October 2013 (external site).
As the statutory body responsible for the regulation of nursing and midwifery practice in
Australia, the board has developed the guidelines to improve the safety and quality of nursing
practice and medication management in the provision of nursing programs.
Nurses and midwives need to be aware of legislation relating to medication use which, in
Western Australia, is the Poisons Act (1964) and the Poisons Regulations (1965) and the
Vaccine Administration Code 2014. The Poisons Act (1964) and the Poisons Regulations (1965)
provide clear instructions for nurses and midwives in relation to the administration of Schedule 8
(S8) and Schedule 4 (S4) medications (Reg. 38, and 42); verbal orders from medical
practitioners (Reg. 50); and authority for nurses/midwives at designated remote area posts
(Reg. 11).
Hospital Standing Orders are not covered by the Poisons Regulations (1965).
Enrolled nurses are not permitted to authorise S8 drugs due to the definition of a nurse under
the Poisons Regulations (1965) (Reg. 42 (1) (f)).
General Considerations
Adhere to the 6 Rights of Medication Administration:
1. Right drug (vaccine)
2. Right individual
3. Right dose
4. Right time
5. Right route
6. Right documentation
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 2 – Annual nursing management responsibility
Checklist for overseeing the delivery of a school-based vaccination program
Check that all registered nurses:
 are registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and have
completed their immunisation certificate
 understand what is required in their role for the SBVP
 are able to demonstrate that they have read and understood the immunisation schedule.
 ensure that nurses are registered with AHPRA in Division 1 and/or 2 of the Register
 file a copy of each of your staff’s nursing registration to ensure that staff administering
vaccines are registered with APHRA
 ensure that the registered nurses have completed an annual immunisation update that
includes the competencies list below
 in instances where registered nurses employed on a temporary basis to deliver the
immunisation program and do not have immunisation competency, they must deliver this
program under the delegation of their Public Health physician who will be the authorising
medical officer
 ensure that registered nurses have completed and passed their annual cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) certificate
 note which staff have had prior experience conducting a school immunisation clinic. For
new staff, Child and Adolescent Community Health Service, RIC or LGA should provide a
school-based immunisation program update.
 ensure adequate nursing staff are available for school visits. It is considered best practice
to have a minimum of two registered nurses with immunisation competency to provide
the immunisation service at school. If this is not possible, one registered nurse on the
vaccination team must be Immunisation Certified. In rural areas consideration needs to
be given to the location of the school and the numbers of students to be immunised.
Additional support should be arranged with the school to assist the nurse if only one
registered nurse is used
 ensure that the registered nurse is deemed competent to deliver this service
 competency includes demonstrated knowledge and understanding in:
o the storage, transport, handling of vaccines (cold chain)
o the administration of vaccines according to National Health and Medical Research
Council (NHMRC)
o the process of gaining informed consent for vaccination
o cardiopulmonary resuscitation (hold a current CPR certificate)
o identify and management of anaphylaxis
o documentation of vaccination and any critical incident
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
o reporting of adverse events following immunisation
supply the RIC/PCP with individual private school student’s numbers during the last
quarter of the school year to organise the printing of consent forms (DoE provides the
student data in public schools).
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 3 – Access to clinical advice
Where to obtain clinical advice
Enquiries about the SBVP in the metropolitan area should be referred to the team leader or the
Central Immunisation Clinic on 08 9321 1312 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, or the regional
immunisation coordinator in regional areas (refer to the table below).
Process for managing clinical enquiries
Clinical immunisation enquiries from students, parents, school or local government clinic staff
should be directed to the local immunisation school team community nurses. Telephone
numbers are provided to all schools and parents via consent information pack.
Public Health Unit
Telephone/Fax No.
Public Health Unit
Telephone/Fax No.
Tel: 9222 8588
Fax: 9222 8599
Tel: 9981 0638
Fax: 9981 0650
Tel: 9431 0200
Fax: 9431 0223 (secure
Tel: 9194 1630
Fax: 9194 1631
Great Southern
Tel: 9842 7500
Fax: 9842 2643
Tel: 9080 8200
Fax: 9080 8201
Tel: 9781 2350
Fax: 9781 2382
Tel: 9622 4320
Fax: 9622 4342
Tel: 9941 0500
Fax: 9941 0520
(Port Hedland)
Tel: 9158 9222
Fax: 9158 9253
(secure fax)
Tel: 9956 1980
Fax: 9956 1991
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 4 – Essential resources required for the delivery of a schoolbased vaccination program
Nurses must ensure that they have:
 referred to the ‘Strive for Five’ guidelines (page 27)
 a dedicated fridge/vaccine purpose-built fridge for storage of vaccines and an esky or
fridge/esky to transport vaccines to schools
 a digital minimum/maximum thermometer/data-logger for recording fridge temperatures
 checked the fridge data-logger temperature before packing vaccines
 a plan in place to check and record the fridge/ esky temperature hourly
 a vaccine temperature recording calendar
 enough ice packs in the freezer for your SBVP program activities
 cold chain vaccine monitors such as min/max thermometers, bullseye, freeze monitors,
data loggers, etc. for storage and transportation
 the vaccine cold chain breakdown and vaccine wastage/incident report form
 a cold chain thermometer to use during transporting of vaccines
 consent packs and follow-up letters provided by Department of Health PCP for the SBVP.
These are organised through the immunisation school-based vaccination coordinator
 emergency equipment, i.e. adrenaline, syringes, needles, adrenaline dosage chart in
readiness for responding to an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI).
 copy of the pre-vaccination consent checklist
 a supply of school-based vaccination program after-care tear-off pads
 know the online AEFI reporting site
 information pad or letters for parents which notes and provides advice about:
o missed vaccination
o unwell on the day
o faint
o experienced an anaphylaxis
o Operational Directives relevant to immunisation program.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 5 – Step-by-step implementation of the WA SBVP
The Department of Health will provide the Health Service RICs and LGAs with
school-based program materials such as consent packs/fact sheets, tear-off pads,
vaccination schedules, posters and a service agreement outlining funding.
Department of Health consent forms should be delivered to schools either in the last few
weeks of the school year or in the first few weeks of the new school year.
Nurses should allow time for unavoidable delays at the beginning of the year such as
delays with consent forms or changes to the schedule.
Avoid booking the first visit too early in the first term – as you may have to end up
cancelling and rescheduling.
Plan your program to allow you to fit all visits to all schools within the current year.
When arranging vaccination days, take into account school holidays and the difference
between private and public schools, exam times, school camps and sports days, etc.
Plan to allow for the minimum time interval between first, second and third doses of any
three dose vaccine.
 Send introduction letter to schools (sample Form 1), which can be used as fax
back form with proposed visit dates and requirements.
 Include article for school newsletter (sample Form 3).
 Nurses may need to follow up with phone calls if fax back form isn’t returned
or further details required from parents/guardians or to discuss visit dates.
 Confirm immunisation dates in writing to the relevant school contact person.
 Hold group information sessions for relevant staff in all schools.
 Discuss requirements for vaccination day (as listed on fax back form)
including room requirement, equipment and assistance on the day (may be
administration support officer or each class teacher).
 Advise staff to encourage students to have breakfast on the morning of
vaccination. This has shown to reduce the number of fainters.
 Ensure that team leaders, delegated immunisation person and the nurses
providing the service are aware of what is required for this program for this
year as detailed by the Department of Health and the proposed SBVP
vaccination schedule.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 6 – Consent for vaccination
Implementing the consent process is a legislative requirement, and every effort should be made
to ensure that this process follows the recommended standard as noted in the Australian
Immunisation Handbook and the Consent to Treatment Policy for the Western Australian Health
System 2011.
To obtain valid consent from parents/guardians for the SBVP, assistance with translation may
be required (see Appendix 7). To ensure best practice it is recommended a minimum of two
registered immunisation nurses to conduct immunisation (noted on page 7). If this is not feasible
because of remoteness of school location and low numbers of students, alternative support
should be provided, such as negotiating with DoE administration staff, teacher, health employee
non-immunisers to assist the registered nurse.
Department of Health PCP will develop consent forms in consultation with ISPs and print and
distribute to regional offices for distribution to schools.
The immunisation team and teachers need to have a clear understanding of the Consent to
Medical Treatment Bill 2006 (WA) and Consent to Treatment Policy for Western Australian
Health System 2011, Department of Health, which regulates consent processes required for
If a student is under 18 years of age parental/guardian consent needs to be obtained.
If the child requests vaccination but the parent or guardian does not consent to vaccination, the
child must not be vaccinated.
As this is a school-based vaccination program, only parental/guardian consent is acceptable.
Students younger than 18 years of age cannot sign their own consent form to receive
vaccination (if parent refuses). These students must be directed to their GP for their
In school-based vaccination programs, the parent or guardian usually does not attend with the
child on the day the vaccination is given and written consent from the parent or guardian is
desirable in these circumstances. However, if further clarification is required, verbal consent
may be sought by telephone from the parent or guardian by the immunisation service provider.
This should be clearly documented on the child’s consent form.
Parents should be informed by the school of the day of immunisation (newsletter or telephone
text, or formal letter). This allows parents to advise the school if there is any change in the
student’s health status that could impact on provision of immunisation.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
The current edition of the Immunisation Handbook on valid consent for school-based
vaccination programs states the following: “Consent is usually given for the entire vaccination
program offered that year and is valid for the number of doses to be given during a schoolbased vaccination program.”
Consent forms should be delivered to schools in a timely manner for distribution to the relevant
year levels (Year 8). It may be necessary for the forms to be distributed and collected within one
to two weeks before your visit date to the school to allow for the date to be entered and all
consent forms checked for parental/guardian signature, allergies or incomplete forms.
When consent forms are distributed to parents it is useful to include a note in the school
newsletter to parents to inform them that they are giving consent to the course of vaccinations
offered. Any change in the child’s medical condition should be reported to the school nurse
before the nominated immunisation day.
If consent forms are delivered some time before vaccination day then it is possible that the
information on the form will be out of date at the time of vaccination and/or the forms may not be
returned/or forms are lost and don’t get distributed.
Make an appointment with school principal to outline your proposed program plan.
Take this opportunity to discuss with the school contact person ways to maximise the return of
consent forms. All consent forms should be returned whether consent is given or not given.
Request each class teacher to attach a class list to the back of a large envelope and as consent
forms are returned, they can mark them off the list and place consent forms in the envelope.
This also assists with following up students who have not returned forms.
Discuss any queries with the school contact person.
Ensure that schools have given you their class numbers/lists (they may not have been returned
on the fax back form). If not, you will need to contact the school contact person.
If possible, sight the room to be used and assess its suitability and available equipment.
Ask for a helper on the day to assist with ensuring classes arrive at allocated times, find missing
students and assist students to remain quiet and calm. This could be the contact person, staff
member, teacher or parent.
If a student refuses vaccination despite parental consent, the student must not be vaccinated.
The parent must be advised that the student has refused vaccination despite their consent.
Under no circumstances is a student to be forcibly vaccinated against his or her will.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Return of consent forms
Health services should ensure that nurses are allocated sufficient time before vaccination day to
review all consent forms and follow up queries, clarify any uncertainties and determine if
vaccination is contraindicated or not.
The uptake of vaccines within the WA school program is about 75-85 per cent (this is due to
some students being already vaccinated; others don’t want to be vaccinated at school and will
be going elsewhere; there may be a conscientious objection; medical reasons or non-return of
forms; and other various reasons).
Concerns identified about possible vaccine contraindications should be discussed with your
authorising medical officer.
 Nurses should take the printed list of students and completed consent forms for
each class to the school on the day as it makes it easier to answer queries or
follow up with parents on the day.
 Nurses should check with school staff for information received from parents/legal
guardians relating to a child’s change in health status.
Withdrawal of consent
In the event that parents withdraw consent for the student to be immunised, the consent form
should be removed from the bundle of consent forms to avoid any errors in administration of
Nurses must write clearly on the consent form that consent has been withdrawn, by whom and
the date received.
The school-based vaccination database must also be updated to note that consent to
vaccination has been withdrawn.
In circumstances where the parent/guardian is unable to withdraw their consent in writing, the
parent/guardian may telephone the school to do so. If this occurs, the school staff member
responsible for coordinating the vaccination program at the school should relay this information
to the immunisation school nurse who will follow up with the parent/guardian to confirm that
consent to vaccination has been withdrawn and to seek clarification if this applies to all vaccines
A written record of the student’s name, year, specific vaccine, time and date withdrawn should
be documented in the student’s record and the school-based database.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
If there is any doubt as to whether parent/guardian’s consent has been provided, the student
must not be vaccinated.
Request for vaccination (received on the day) requiring telephone consent
If this situation occurs, the parent/legal guardian will need to be contacted to obtain verbal
consent. The registered nurse who will be vaccinating the student should obtain valid verbal
consent in the presence of a second person, e.g. nurse, DoE administrator, teacher, healthemployee. A phone number may be obtained from the student.
 Due to privacy the school may not wish to give you the phone number, but
may be happy to phone the parent and then hand over to the nurse to speak
with them or may phone and ask the parent to phone back.
 Valid consent is obtained by two nurses (or nurse and supporting person)
asking the parent/legal guardian if they received a consent form.
 Check with parents that they have they read and understood all the
information including the benefits and risks of vaccination.
 Check if they have any questions for you.
 Check if they need any further information.
 Where possible, another nurse should also listen to the telephone
conversation with the parent/legal guardian to validate that consent has been
obtained by the registered nurse for the child in question. The parent/legal
guardian should be advised that a second person is present and listening. If a
second nurse is not available arrange for DoE administrator, teacher or health
The following should be documented on the consent form:
 name of the parent/legal guardian contacted
 that valid consent has been obtained by phone
 signature of both nurses, alternative or other, e.g. DoE administration staff, teacher
 date and time consent obtained.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 7 – Supporting non-English speaking parents/guardians
To obtain informed consent the following process must be followed:
To obtain valid consent from parents/guardians for the SBVP, assistance
with translation may be required.
Community immunisation team nurses will discuss and identify with school
staff those parents within the Year 8 grades that may require assistance in
interpreting and completing the consent form.
Community nursing immunisation teams to use informal or formal
translation services (if necessary this could be a group session).
Informal Methods:
Formal Methods:
Translated resources.
Family members.
Assistance can be obtained by
contacting one of the services
below (charges may apply)
Community members.
Bilingual health officers.
Translating and Interpreting
Services (TIS) – 13 14 50
Refer to the Public Health website for a copy of the consent form.
Translated Resources
The Victorian Government Health Information website (external site) has immunisation
information and fact sheets in many languages: student must not be vaccinated.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 8 – Vaccination day preparation
A couple of days for vaccination day
Contact the school to arrange times for the first class to present to the immunisation nurses on
vaccination day.
 Advise the school contact person about which Year 8 students they will need
to organise at the start of the day.
 The time for each class will vary depending on the vaccines to be
administered and the number of nurses available on the day.
 Be realistic with time allocation and adhere to booked times as this minimises
disruption to the school.
 Vaccinating on the allocated day meets parent expectations and ensures
students have the opportunity to have breakfast on the appropriate day.
Phone school to confirm the day before the visit:
 arrival time
 starting time
 that the school has received the pre-arranged times for each class
 room to be used, room set up and resources required
 the school contact person available on arrival to assist
 name of helper who will be assisting on the day
 order your vaccine in advance. Do not arrange all of your school vaccination dates within
one vaccine order period as it is hard to know how many vaccines you will need in total. If
you order 100 per cent there is the possibility of wastage
 ordering vaccines accordingly reduces stock on hand and wastage
 check expiry dates of vaccines.
Vaccine wastage can occur by:
 overcrowding of the fridge and cold chain failures
 large amounts of vaccine left at completion of school program
 vaccines expiring before next year’s program
 changes to the following year’s program and those vaccines will not be used
 vaccines must not be drawn up in advance off site. This is unsafe practice and a breach
in standards.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Pack required equipment
 Have a dedicated container/trolley pre-packed (preferably on wheels).
 Leave a checklist for topping up the container on return from each school visit
according to team leader’s file.
Current edition NHMRC Immunisation Handbook, 2013
National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5
Operational Directive – Guidelines for Department of Health School Vaccination Teams –
OD 0415/13
mobile phone (in the case of an emergency), regional area stamp
adrenaline kit in accordance with Appendix 16
forms – consent, incident report, adverse event report, feedback to parents, envelopes
hand wipes/Aquium hand gel (in case there are no hand washing facilities)
clean area to work from – e.g. plastic cloth, plastic tray, receiver and single use
disposable dental towels/blueys/towels (single use towels are disposed of after use)
alcohol spray/liquid and disposable cloth to clean the work area before and after use
syringes and needles (needle length and gauge according to handbook
cotton wool balls, micro pore and band aids – (band aids only for persistent bleeders as
some children are allergic to band aids)
yellow sharps containers
large rubbish bags (large enough to include vaccine packaging)
disposable gloves for blood spills/emergency
water jugs and cups for students feeling ill or for fainters
pillows and blankets for fainting area.
spare consent forms (parents/carers may present on the day wanting the student
recommended follow-up letter for those students who missed any dose of a vaccine,
especially HPV as a full course is required to gain protection
follow up letters (sufficient for each student who misses vaccination)
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
fainting/unwell/absent tear-off pads (to inform the parent so they can be aware for future
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 9 – Flow chart for needle-stick injury with body fluids
Nurses should refer to the OD 0394/12
Has needlestick to
blood/body fluid occurred?
Complete workplace incident report
1. Wash thoroughly under running
Complete workplace incident report
and medical records
2. Bathe eyes or damaged skin
with copious water and/or sterile
saline if applicable.
Is source known?
Consult with Medical Officer
Obtain consent from
SOURCE/PARENT and serotest
 HIV antibody
 HBsAg
 HCV antibody
Is source HIV positive or
high risk?
Obtain consent from RECIPIENT
and serotest for baseline:
HIV antibody
HCV antibody
If previously vaccinated
against hepatitis B
If not vaccinated against
hepatitis B
Has record of
antiHBs . or = 10
Has no record of
seroconversion need
to determine HBS
level. If 10 IU/mL
Determine anti-HBs
level immediately
No vaccines required
If anti-HBs levels less
than 10 IU/mL give:
 HBIG within 72
If source is positive
and recipient negative
 HBIG and hepatitis
B vaccine (see
Handbook for
Obtain immediate advice from
Infectious Disease Physician
regarding HIV prophylaxis
 Hepatitis B vaccine
within 7 days.
Medical Officer gives results to
Counselling for Source.
Repeat baseline serology in 3 months
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Exposure to Blood-borne Viruses
HIV Specialist Contact Details
Contact advice on using antiretroviral
Royal Perth Hospital
Clinical Immunology
Fremantle hospital
Infectious Diseases
Telephone Number
(08) 9224 2899 (MondayFriday)
Who to Contact
Clinical Immunology Register
(08) 9224 2244
(Weekends, low activity
days, public holidays and
after hours)
Page Immunology Registrar on
call (weekends, low activity
days, public holidays and after
(08) 9431 3333
Infectious Diseases Physician
Clinical Immunology Registrar
Sir Charles Gairdner
(08) 9346 3333
Page Immunology Registrar on
call (weekends, low activity
days, public holidays and after
HIV Specialists are available on call – 24 hours a day via hospital switchboards.
Guidelines for PEP for HIV
Referral to an HIV specialist must be provided in all cases of HIV exposure.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
of treatment
Within hours
(<72) Truvada®
(300mg tenofovir
and 200mg
(once daily for 4
Further points to
Starter packs
contain sufficient
drugs for 7 days
Ocular, mucous
membrane or nonintact skin
Non-blood stained
urine, saliva,
Offered but not
Not offered
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 10 – Ensuring a safe and sensitive environment pre-vaccination
It is important to provide privacy and a safe environment for students during the process of
immunisation. All information given by students should be considered and used in the context of
the wellbeing of the student and, depending on the level of risk to the child and departmental
policy, remain confidential.
Guidelines to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are respected, and a safe environment
Ensure that the area and furniture provided by the school is acceptable for delivering a
vaccination service and allows privacy for communicating with students.
The student consent form should be checked with the student and any points of concern
discussed and where necessary checked with the parent or guardian.
Explain to the student the procedure and the vaccines that are going to be administered
that day. Discuss any likely reactions and what the student can do to relieve symptoms
and the importance of having the vaccination (risks and benefits).
Ensure that the vaccine aftercare form for the parent is completed and that the
information on the back of the form is explained to the student to give to the parent.
Explain to the student that confidential information disclosed to a nurse (e.g. student
might want to disclose drug or sexual matters) will be kept confidential. If a female
student discloses that she is possibly pregnant or knows she is pregnant, explain to the
student that she cannot have the HPV or the varicella vaccination that day and will have
to delay vaccination until after the pregnancy.
If the vaccine is not given, this should be documented on the class list and entered into
the school-based vaccination database.
The nurse will need to advise the student that the parent will be informed they were not
vaccinated that day. Discuss with the student if the parent is aware of the specific
situation, e.g. pregnancy, before telephoning or writing to the parent.
The safety of the student must be considered when planning to contact the parent. Refer
to your organisational protocol. These students who have disclosed confidential
contraindications for immunisation may require further information, follow-up and/or
Useful contact numbers
Sexual and Reproductive
Health WA
Kids Helpline
School Counsellor
13 11 14
Free call (country) 1800 198 205 or 92276178
weekdays 10am to 4 pm.
1800 551 800
Follow-up, if applicable
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 11 – Arrival and set up at school
On arrival at school, report to the school office to let the school contact person know you have
 Arrive about an hour before first class is due to arrive for vaccination.
 Schools, for security reasons, require you to sign in and collect a visitor
 Check the room set up and ask for missing or additional equipment and
resources that will be required.
 Ensure sufficient screens for privacy, table and chairs for each team of
nurses and also the administrative person.
 Check about access to a phone if you do not have a mobile phone.
 Check for hand washing facilities.
 Check that the waiting and observation area is appropriate and has seating
 It is useful to have an area close to the nurse for fainters to lie down. The
school may be able to provide a gym mat for this purpose.
 Check with the contact person that classes are aware of the time to attend
and that all classes are present (e.g. not away at camp or sport). Request
an absentee list of students for that day.
 Set up equipment – syringes/needles, cotton wool balls/Band-Aids, hand
 Have cleaning solution, stationary, sharps container, rubbish bag easily
accessible to nurses.
 Place emergency equipment (container of three ampoules of adrenaline,
1ml syringes and needles and resuscitation mask) and adrenaline dose for
age table where it is easily accessible to all nurses.
 Place esky where it is easily accessible to all nurses and check ice packs
and thermometer regularly to ensure vaccines are kept within the correct
temperature range. Clean work area.
Source: NHMRC Australian Immunisation handbook
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 12 – Preparing vaccines
Work health and safety issues
Standard work health and safety guidelines must always be followed when preparing and
delivering a school-based vaccination program to minimise the risk of needle-stick injury (refer
to Australian Immunisation Handbook).
Gloves should not be used when preparing and administering vaccines. Work practices must
include the use of standard precautions to minimise exposure to blood and body fluids. If
exposure does occur refer to the operational guidelines for post-exposure assessment and
prophylaxis (0394/12OD).
A new sterile, disposable syringe and needle must be used for each injection. Disposable
needles and syringes must be discarded into a clearly labelled puncture-proof, spill-proof
container that meets Australia standards in order to prevent needle-stick injury or re-use.
Sharps containers must be placed in a position that is out of reach to students. All immunisation
service providers should be conversant with the recommended procedure for the handling and
disposal of sharps according to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian
Guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in Healthcare (2010).
Hands must be cleaned before preparing vaccines using recommended hand hygiene
procedure. Refer to National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines for
the prevention and control of infection in Healthcare (2010).
Check that the vaccines have been stored at 2˚C to 8˚C (refer to the current Australian
Immunisation Handbook).
Both vaccine diluent batch number and expiry dates must be checked before each immunisation
Each registered nurse immuniser is responsible for preparing or supervising the preparation of
his/her own vaccines.
Vaccines must be drawn up (prepared) on the school site in two stages (i.e. separately for the
morning and afternoon sessions).
Prepared vaccines must be clearly labelled and stored according to cold chain
recommendations and in appropriately marked containers (colour coded) on the desk and
protected from light.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Inspect each syringe/vial for foreign particles or vaccine discolouration before vaccine
The vaccine cap should be removed carefully to maintain sterility of the rubber bung. Do not
wipe the rubber bung.
Use the appropriate size gauge needle (e.g. 19/21 or gauge 18 blunt fill needle) to draw up the
vaccine. Change to recommended size needle for administration (refer to current Immunisation
Vaccines administered are given via sub-cutaneous (varicella) or intramuscular route
Provided that the skin is visibly clean, there is no need to wipe the skin with antiseptic (alcohol
wipe). If an alcohol wipe is used, the skin must be allowed to dry before administering the
Small air bubbles do not need to be expelled through the needle. It is not necessary to withdraw
the syringe plunger before injecting the vaccine. However, if this is done and a flash of blood
appears in the syringe, it should be withdrawn and a new site selected for injection.
Ensure that the vaccine is injected slowly over a count of five seconds to avoid injection pain
and muscle trauma.
If required cover the injection site with dry cotton wool ball and tape and instruct the student to
apply gentle pressure for 1-2 minutes.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 13 – Management of anxious students
Nurses should maintain a calm and reassuring manner with students, thus providing an
environment that minimises student anxiety. Do not appear rushed, or too busy to talk to the
Nurses should know the difference between vasovagal and anaphylaxis (current edition of the
Immunisation Handbook) on the back of the adrenaline dose for age chart (see Appendix 16).
Occupational Health and Safety Issues
An awareness of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is of the utmost importance when
immunising in a school setting and dealing with adolescents. Gently supporting the student’s
arm to immunise maintains some control over the environment and prepares the immunisation
nurse for any unexpected movement from the student that could possibly lead to inadvertently
harming either the immunisation nurse or the student.
It becomes a question of judgment for the nurse who feels that immunising the student poses a
risk to either the student or the nurse’s safety.
When safety and/or legal liability is in question, immunisation should never proceed.
Nurses should:
 provide time for pre-immunisation discussion to allow time for students to raise their
concerns before administering immunisation
 be prepared to respond to a student who is anxious or distressed.
 seek out information from the teacher as to which students are known or likely to be
distressed and to respond to these students first.
 reassure the students that they will be with him/her
 ideally these students are better seated than standing
 for students who faint, follow your organisational protocol, e.g. complete an incident form
 if the student continues to be uncooperative and obviously distressed, do not proceed
with immunisation
 parents should be informed by telephone or letter as to the reason why the student was
not immunised and offered alternative options such as the parent accompanies the
student to a local immunisation provider (GP or community health/local government
immunisation clinic) as soon as possible.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 14 – Vaccination of students
Preparation of Students
 As each class arrives, nurses may decide to separate female and male
students if appropriate.
 Nurses may wish to give a brief talk to the students about the vaccination and
answer any questions.
 Ask students to remove jumpers, roll up sleeves (or take arm out of sleeve as
appropriate) and line up alphabetically.
 Encourage students who have not had breakfast to have something to eat
and drink before vaccination as this reduces the number of fainting episodes.
Students are requested to systematically check in with administration person.
 Tick the student’s name off the list of those who have consented and are due
for vaccination. This check should pick up errors of students presenting when
list indicates no consent. This can then be clarified by the nurse.
 Give student their consent form to take to the nurses. Nurses to then check
each student’s name, checklist for contraindications, consent for which
vaccinations and any questions from the pre-vaccination checklist.
 Ask the student their full name, date of birth, address, and parents’ name
(without prompting “are you . . .”). This avoids mix up of students with same or
similar names.
 Ask the student if they are aware of any allergies and if they had any
reactions from previous injections.
 Students present to nurse for vaccination.
 Nurse checks the individual’s name, checklist for contraindications, the
consent form is signed and which vaccinations have been signed for. (This is
the second consent check for the day).
 Asking the student their parents’ names is sometimes used as another check
that you have the correct student for the consent form.
 Position student, fully exposing the upper arm (may require complete removal
of top or just rolling up the sleeve).
 Administer vaccines according to consent form.
 Dispose of sharps in sharps container.
 Consider all waste as hazardous material (e.g. cotton wool balls, vaccines,
blood and body fluid) to be placed in sharps container, not school bins.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Both student and Department of Health record should have all the following details:
 name of student
 date of vaccination
 brand name
 batch number
 dose number if applicable
 injection site given
 nurses sign both records and give the student their record and after care form to take
 nurses to tend to students who faint or feel unwell as the situation arises
 nurses to complete the fainting form (tear-off pad) and attach to the student’s record of
immunisation to be taken home to parent
 student should be directed to observation area and wait for 15 minutes before returning
to class
 students must sit down and must be supervised (either by teacher or administration
assistant, for example)
 if student looks pale or faints, lay the student down on the floor (on a gym mat), raise
their legs on a chair and monitor them until they recover
 students can be sent back to class when they demonstrate that they are well enough.
Alternatively, arrange for student to be sent to the school sick room
 document fainting episode with student’s consent card for future reference. This can also
be done by placing on the consent card a red dot (e.g. a sticker for) to note fainter.
At completion of each class
The immunisation administration person checks with the school contact person for absentees as
this allows time to track down students who did not present at the requested time.
 For absent school students, place appropriate follow up letters into envelopes
and give to the contact person to send home or address the envelope ready
for posting. This saves time on return to the office.
 If time allows, the administration person may be able to collate statistics – (it
is easier to do one class at a time as you have at your fingertips all the
returned forms for the class, number of students in each class, number
vaccinated on the day, number absent on the day and number previously
vaccinated. This also saves time on return to the office).
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Packing up at completion of the school visit
Nurses to:
 complete a vaccine audit, checking number of students vaccinated with the specific class
 vaccines used matches the number of specific vaccines used
 return vaccines to esky
 place all rubbish in a bag and return to your centre waste system. Use the alcohol and
disposable cloth/towel to wipe down the work area (plastic cloth, tray, etc.) then discard
cloth towel
 pack things back into the trolley/container/box
 leave room tidy
 check on any students who are not well, fainted or in the sick room. Provide direction to
the school staff on their care, contact parents where required
 thank contact person and helpers/assistants
 return to work site
 unpack vaccines and equipment.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 15 – Vaccines distribution, storage and cold chain maintenance
Ordering Vaccines
Vaccines for the school program (e.g. HPV, dTpa, and Varicella vaccine) can be ordered
through the online ordering website.
For more information on vaccines orders, phone Department of Health PCP on 08 9388 4835.
Receiving vaccines
With each vaccine delivery a cold chain monitor (CCM) card is enclosed to ensure that the cold
chain has been maintained during transport. The immunisation provider is responsible for
ensuring that these monitors are checked on receipt of the vaccines at the vaccine storage
Accepting vaccine delivery at storage point
Vaccines are delivered directly to the nominated community health centres responsible for
delivering school-based vaccination.
One designated person must be responsible for accepting and storing the vaccine at each
storage point.
Cold chain monitors (CCM) that accompany vaccines during transport must be checked
immediately to certify that the cold chain has been maintained (i.e. not exposed to temperatures
below 2oC or above 8oC).
Vaccines must be stored in their original packaging.
Stock with the shortest expiry date should be paced at the front of the storage area and used
The temperature recording chart must be completed at the start and end of the day.
Any concerns relating to the storage of vaccine must be discussed with your regional
immunisation coordinator.
Backup power supply and alternative storage facilities must be planned and clearly displayed for
reference in the event of a power outage.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Storing and transporting vaccines
Vaccines should be stored at the provider’s site according to the current edition of the NHMRC
Australian Immunisation Handbook and National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5
(external site). Vaccines should be transported by the immunisation provider from the storage
location site to the school according to the guidelines in the current edition of the NHMRC
Australian Immunisation Handbook and National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5.
All unused vaccines are to be returned to the vaccine storage location maintaining cold chain at
all times.
Ensure that all eskies are packed for transport according to the National Vaccine Storage
Guidelines – Strive for 5 recommendations (page 33-35).
Ensure that all cold packs have been sweated for one hour before placing in eskies according to
National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5.
Use a max/min thermometer to monitor your vaccines.
Ensure that you have:
 sufficient vaccine for students to be vaccinated, packed appropriately according to cold
chain requirements (NHMRC Australian Immunisation Handbook current edition and the
National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5)
 additional vaccines for any extra consent forms received on the day. It is useful to
consider the enrolment numbers when considering the number of vaccines to pack for
the school session
 a minimum/maximum thermometer in the esky for transporting vaccine
 temperature recording chart to be completed at the start and at the end of the day.
 Min/max thermometer should be stuck to the outside of esky where the reading
can be easily seen and monitored without removing the lid. The probe is placed
appropriately in the esky in a vaccine box.
 Place shredded paper in a sealed plastic bag (the same size as the esky). This
saves time and can be used repeatedly to separate the vaccines from the ice
 Ensure that ice blocks have sweated for up to an hour before packing into the
esky. If you don’t have time to sweat the ice packs, ice blocks/packs can be
placed in several layers of bubble wrap to prevent vaccines getting frozen.
 Take extra frozen ice blocks to the school in a separate esky in case the icepacks
with the vaccines became warm.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Preparation of vaccines
Vaccines transported in mobile eskies require appropriate packaging to ensure cold chain is
maintained. There is a risk that inappropriate packaging may lead to freezing of the vaccine.
The National Cold Chain Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5 must be referred to for the storage
and transportation of vaccines.
 If you choose to remove vaccines from packaging to take to the school,
special care must be taken. They must be placed in a container with a sealed
lid and protected from light. Consideration should be given to vaccines with
different batch numbers.
 All vaccines removed from their packaging must be labelled as per OD.
In the event of a cold chain breach (heating or freezing)
Exposed vaccines to be kept in the fridge, but isolated (by the vaccinator) by placing in plastic
bag and clearly marking the outside with a label stating: Cold Chain Breach (CCB) exposure –
Contact your school-base immunisation coordinator on 9224 3719 or 0424 756 920 for the
metro area and your Regional Immunisation Coordinator in rural areas to discuss the vaccines
that may have encountered a CCB exposure.
If you have been advised by your immunisation coordinator that the vaccines are not to be
used, these vaccines must be disposed of according to usual policy for sharps and amount
recorded on the cold chain report wastage form to be submitted to RIC/PCP.
An assessment needs to be conducted to identify those students vaccinated with the affected
vaccines and a course of action determined in consultation with your immunisation coordinator,
medical immunisation expert and line manager.
In the event that these students require re-vaccination, a formal process should be undertaken,
e.g. the parents should be advised via a telephone call and in writing using your departmental
letterhead. The school should also be notified of the situation and the possibility of scheduling
further dates for re-vaccination.
Daily monitoring of the vaccine temperature and checking their data-logger before you vaccinate
will reduce the risk of cold chain incidents and the risk of using compromised vaccines.
Form - Refer to the website for OD 0355/11.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 16 – Adverse events following immunisation
Anaphylactic reactions following routine vaccination are rare but they can be fatal.
Any health professional delivering a vaccination service must be able to distinguish between
anaphylaxis, convulsions and fainting. True anaphylaxis and anaphylactic reactions can occur
up to 60 minutes after exposure to the vaccine but the most severe cases occur during the first
10-15 minutes after the vaccination.
It is important to ensure that all students vaccinated remain close to medical attention within the
first 15 minutes following vaccination.
An adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) is an untoward or unexpected medical event
occurring after administration of a vaccine. Such an event may be caused by the vaccine or by
chance after vaccination (that is, it would have occurred regardless of vaccination). Some
vaccines can cause minor adverse events such as low-grade fever, pain or redness at the
injection site (refer to Immunisation Handbook, page 91).
In the event of a student experiencing an adverse reaction following immunisation in the school,
nurses should take the following steps.
Attend to the student, which includes following the management of anaphylaxis
recommendation in the Immunisation Handbook (page 89) and repeated on the back cover of
the Immunisation Handbook.
Fainting is common in adults and adolescents but rarely occurs in young children. Any sudden
loss of consciousness should be considered an anaphylactic reaction unless there is a strong
central (carotid) pulse. The health professional carrying out the vaccination must be able to
distinguish between anaphylaxis, convulsions and fainting.
In addition, immunisation nurses must report any incidents that occur (e.g. vaccine errors,
adverse reaction to vaccine, such as fainting, allergic symptoms-rashes, swollen lips and
anaphylaxis) to their health service clinical incident reporting process and as appropriate to
Nurses must report to their managers and WAVSS:
 any significant event following immunisation
 any reaction to a vaccine that requires referral to a doctor/hospital
 any parental/guardian feedback expressing concern about a student’s post-vaccine
 complete the adverse events report online electronic reporting form or forward to the
Central Immunisation Clinic using fax (08) 322 5955
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
the Immunisation School Program Coordinator, RIC or LGC officer will personally followup with all parents of children who have had a reported adverse event following
Recognition of anaphylaxis
Refer to the tale below for a comparison of systemic signs and symptoms between anaphylaxis
and a vasovagal episode. An anaphylactic reaction occurs if any of the following symptoms or
signs develops, and most cases will have more than one system involved (see current edition of
the Australian Immunisation Handbook).
Clinical features which may assist differentiation between a vasovagal episode and
anaphylaxis Table 1.6.1
Vasovagal episode
Immediate – usually within
minutes of or during
vaccine administration.
Generalised pallor, cool
clammy skin.
Usually within 5 minutes,
but can occur within hours
of vaccine administration.
Skin itchiness generalised
skin erythema (redness)
urticarial (wheals) or
angio-oedema (localised
oedema of the deeper
layers of the skin or
subcutaneous tissues).
Normal respiration; may
Cough, wheeze, stridor, or
be shallow, but not
signs of respiratory
distress (tachypnoea,
cyanosis, rib recession).
Bradycardia, but with
Tachycardia, weak/absent
strong central pulse (e.g.
central pulse. Hypotension
carotid). Hypotension –
– sustained and no
usually transient and
improvement without
corrects in supine position. specific treatment
Sense of light –
headedness. Loss of
consciousness – improves
once supine head down
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Sense of severe anxiety
and distress. Loss of
consciousness – no
improvement once supine
head down position.
Management of anaphylaxis
 If the patient is unconscious, lay him/her on the left side and position to keep the airway
clear. If the patient is conscious, lie supine in head-down and feet-up position (unless
this results in breathing difficulties).
 Give adrenaline by intramuscular injection (see below for dosage) if there are any signs
of anaphylaxis with respiratory and/or cardiovascular symptoms or signs. Although
adrenaline is not required for generalised non-anaphylactic reactions (such as skin rash
without other signs or symptoms), administration of intramuscular adrenaline is safe.
 Call for assistance. Never leave the patient alone.
 If oxygen is available, administer by facemask at a high- flow rate.
 If there is no improvement in the patient’s condition within five minutes, repeat doses of
adrenaline every five minutes, until improvement occurs.
 Check breathing. If absent, commence basic life support or appropriate cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) according to the Australian Resuscitation Council guideline (external
 Transfer all cases to hospital for further observation and treatment.
 Complete full documentation of the event, including the time and dose(s) of adrenaline
 Experienced practitioners may choose to use an oral airway if the appropriate size is
available, but its use is not routinely recommended, unless the patient is conscious.
Adrenaline dosage
 The recommended dose of 1:1000 adrenaline is 0.01 mL/kg body weight (equivalent to
0.01 mg/kg), up to a maximum of 0.5 mL or 0.5 mg, given by deep intramuscular
injection into the anterolateral thigh. Adrenaline 1:1000 must not be administered
 The use of 1:1000 adrenaline is recommended because it is universally available.
Adrenaline 1:1000 contains 1 mg of adrenaline per mL of solution in a 1 mL glass vial.
Use a 1 mL syringe to improve the accuracy of measurement when drawing up small
 The following table lists the doses of 1:1000 Adrenaline to be used if the exact weight of
the person is not known (based on the person’s age).
Doses of 1:1000 (one in one thousand) adrenaline:
10-12 years (approx 40 kg)
0.4 mL
>12 years and adult (over 50 kg)
0.5 mL
For more detailed information, see 2.3.2 Adverse events following immunisation.
Modified from The Brighton Collaboration Case Definition Criteria for Anaphylaxis, and an insert
published in Australian Prescriber (external site) in August 2011.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Recommended dose of 1:1000 adrenaline is 0.01mL/kg body weight.
Always use a 1mL syringe when administering small doses of adrenaline.
Adrenaline may be repeated at five minute intervals until you get a response.
Adrenaline kit contains:
 table of recommended adrenaline doses for age (ensure the table specifies the strength
of adrenaline)
 if oxygen is available administer by facemask at a high flow rate
 three or more ampoules of adrenaline 1:1000
 minimum of three 1ml syringes and 25mm length needles (for IM injection)
 pen and paper to record time of administration of adrenaline
 laminated copy of recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis form (inside back of the
current edition of the Immunisation Handbook).
Please note that an oxy viva or air viva is not part of the WA Department of Health emergency
Antihistamines and/hydrocortisone are not recommended for the emergency management of
Source: NHMRC Australian Immunisation Handbook
Emergency assistance
Dial 000.
When using a mobile phone and 000 does not work, dial 112 to be connected to emergency
services through another service network.
Do not use any other telephone number.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Appendix 17 – Data collection
1.1 Data collection (Refer to the Department of Health SBIP database for more detailed
When a child is vaccinated at school personal information (such as name, date of birth,
address and details of vaccines received) is collected by the Department of Health.
Service Providers are required, under their Service Provider Agreement, to collect and enter
the vaccination details of students vaccinated in the School-based Vaccination Program onto
the state database.
1.2 Entering data on the database
The database is located on the WA School-based Immunisation Program webpage. Please
download, print and read the database guidelines (link found on the database homepage)
and instructions below before entering data.
All students enrolled in Year 8 in a WA school are eligible to receive the school-based
vaccines and should be captured in the database regardless of whether they have returned
a consent form.
Access to the database can be requested by emailing the Prevention and Control Program,
Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD). See Section 1.8 regarding the different
levels of access to the database.
Service Providers should enter data into the database as consent forms are returned and
following each vaccination clinic.
Details of the vaccination event recorded on the database must include: student’s full name,
date of birth, Medicare number11, gender, address, Indigenous status, current school,
consent for vaccination, date of vaccination, vaccine and dose administered, batch number
of vaccine, Service Provider details and location in which vaccination took place.
Ensure all fields are completed – a record that does not have all mandatory fields completed
will not save on the database.
For more information about the database, email the Prevention and Control Program,
The Australian Government has announced its requirement for Medicare numbers to be reported for each student that
receives HPV vaccinations.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
1.3 Vaccinations given to adolescents by a GP
To ensure complete vaccination records for all adolescents it is important for any schoolbased vaccinations given by a GP to be recorded on the SBVP database. The GP practice
administering the vaccine is responsible for completing and faxing the Government-Procured
Vaccines used in General Practice for Adolescents/Other Groups form to CDCD, a copy of
which can be found at
A Service Provider that is made aware of vaccinations given by a GP by the parent/legal
guardian can also record this information on the database if it is validated. Choose GP
Provider, and enter GP provider number (enter ‘unk’ if unknown) and ‘Immunisation given
outside of school’ for location in which vaccination took place.
1.4 Obtaining private/independent school students details
There is currently no agreement between the Department of Health and private/independent
schools to electronically transfer student details to populate the SBVP database.
However, Service Providers can request electronic student lists from each
private/independent school (see excel template below). It is up to each individual
private/independent school if they provide the data to the Service Provider electronically. All
electronic lists can be emailed to the Prevention and Control Program to be uploaded on to
the database.
The excel headings to provide private/independent schools to populate is set out in the table
(DD/MM/YYYY) (M, F, U)
If an electronic list cannot be obtained from the private/independent school student details
will have to be individually entered onto the database by the Service Provider using class
lists and returned consent forms.
1.5 The National HPV Vaccination Program Register
The Register (external site) takes calls from Service Providers wanting to know students
previous HPV vaccinations. The number is 1800 HPV REG (1800 478 734).
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
A parent/legal guardian of students aged less than 18 years can also phone the HPV Register
in the same number. To access information they need to provide their full name, date of birth
and Medicare number.
1.6 Levels of access to the School-based Vaccination Program Database
Data viewer – can enter data only. Suitable for clerical staff responsible for data entry.
Report viewer – can view data and reports but can't enter data. Suitable for managers/directors.
Administrator – can view data and reports and enter data. Suitable for nurses involved in giving
school-based immunisations – the majority of database users.
System administrator – has access to system admin console. Limited to Prevention and Control
Program only.
Team Leader – can view data and reports and enter data in current and previous years. Has
limited access to system admin tab. Suitable for Team Leaders and Regional Immunisation
Coordinators (RICs).
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Sample Letters
Sample Letter
Government of Western Australia
Department of Health
Public Health and Clinical Services
Communicable Disease Control Directorate
Dear Principal
The Department of Health nursing teams will conduct vaccination for year eight students over
four school terms. This is to accommodate the administration of three doses of HPV vaccine.
Children are eligible to have HPV (three individual doses) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping
Cough (one dose) and Chickenpox vaccination. The four dates allows for the HPV program and
any catch-up vaccination to be offered to your students. Hence the fourth visit will mainly be
HPV vaccination for this student group. Immunisation consent information packs for parents will
be delivered or posted directly to your school by your local Population Health Unit.
The dates allotted for your school are:
Visit 1
Visit 2
Visit 3
Visit 4
Please check that these dates are on the School Planner. If this date is not suitable
BEFORE THE END OF TERM and leave a message with the receptionist. One of our
immunisation nurses will call to arrange an alternative date.
Please email class lists for the Year 8s, sorted by
gender to
The required fields are first name, surname, and date of birth. Please also include the name
of your designated immunisation school coordinator.
The requirements for the vaccination program to run safely at your school are as follows:
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
A large open space with a minimum of two access doors, e.g. the library.
A large clean table and seven adult chairs.
Two or three mobile screens may be required which will allow privacy for the children
being vaccinated.
A table/desk and chair for administrative work.
Supervision of the children waiting for their immunisation by your teaching staff.
This helps allay the children’s anxiety. This person with whom they are familiar
can also reassure the children.
Following immunisation, as a safety requirement, the children will need to sit quietly for
15 minutes, under staff supervision.
If you have any queries, please contact your local Regional Immunisation Coordinator.
Yours sincerely
Dr Paul Effler
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Sample Letter
Government of Western Australia
Department of Health
Public Health and Clinical Services
Communicable Disease Control Directorate
Dear Parent
Earlier this year [the Department of Health or Local Government] nurses visited your child’s
school to give the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine (HPV). Three doses are required four to six
months apart. The [2nd or 3rd] dose of the HPV vaccine is now due.
This letter is to remind you that your child should not be immunised with the [2nd or 3rd] dose of
HPV vaccine if she/he has had a known anaphylactic reaction to any component of the vaccine;
or if your child developed hypersensitivity symptoms after receiving the first dose of HPV
vaccine. If unsure or concerned, please contact your immunisation team nurse to discuss.
The HPV vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnancy.
Should you have concerns following your child’s last immunisation or wish to report a change in
your child’s health and therefore wishing to postpone immunisation, please ring the nursing
team on Tel……………...................................... to discuss alternative options.
Please contact [enter name and phone number here]
Yours sincerely
Dr Paul Effler
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Sample Letter
Government of Western Australia
Department of Health
Public Health and Clinical Services
Communicable Disease Control Directorate
Dear Parent/Guardian
The City of Joondalup, in conjunction with the Department of Health, is offering free HPV
(Human Papilloma Virus) Chickenpox, Adolescent Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough
vaccinations for all Year 8 students within the City of Joondalup.
If you would like your Year 8 child vaccinated at school, please read the accompanying
information and complete both sides of the consent form, then return this form to your child’s
school as soon as possible.
If you do not want your Year 8 child vaccinated at school, you can have your child vaccinated at
a City of Joondalup Immunisation Clinic. Appointments are essential.
You should notify the City of Joondalup immediately if you choose to withdraw your child from
the program after submitting a form.
If you have any questions or wish to make an appointment to bring your child to a clinic please
contact our Immunisation Team on 9400 4938 or 9400 4954.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Sample Letter
Government of Western Australia
Department of Health
Public Health and Clinical Services
Communicable Disease Control Directorate
Some parents may be aware from media releases that there are currently measles
cases/outbreaks occurring in Australia.
In order to be fully protected your child should have had two vaccinations, at age 1yr and again
at age 18/12 months or 4 years of age. If your child has not been vaccinated with two doses
MMR we encourage you to take the time and get your child’s vaccination completed.
The Health Department has identified a cohort of young adults who may not be fully protected.
If you were born between 1966-1980 you may have only had one measles vaccination at age
one. A booster for this group of children is recommended now and is available from your doctor
(you may have a consultation fee but vaccine is free).
Kindy and Pre-school
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccinations are due for all children who are aged 18/12 and
over. If your child has not yet had the second MMR now would be a good time to organise this
to ensure that your child is protected.
Please inform the school when vaccinations are given to ensure that their record is up to date.
Further information can be obtained from the school or school nurse.
Thank you.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
Human Papilloma Virus
School-based Vaccination Program
Department of Health
Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance
Education Department
Memorandum of Und
Vaccine Administration Code Regulation
Community and Adolescent Health Services
Prevention and Control Program
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Australian Practice Registration Association
Mumps, Measles, Rubella
Regional Immunisation Coordinators
Translating & Interpreting Services
National Immunisation Program
Occupational Health and Safety
The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register
Communicable Disease Control Directorate
Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis
National Health and Medical Research Council
Accredited Immunisation Course
Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation
Local Government Authority
Cold Chain Monitor Card
Cold Chain Breach
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Population
Translating and Interpreting Services
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
1. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Australian Immunisation
Handbook.10th Edition 2013.
2. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. National Storage Guidelines.
Strive for Five. 2013.
3. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Myths and reality. Responding
to arguments against vaccination. A guide for providers. 2013.
4. Western Australia Department of Health Vaccine Administration Code 2014.
5. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Framework for assessing
national competency standards - October 2013
6. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Scope of practice for registered nurses and
7. State Law Publisher 2005, Poisons Amendment Regulations, Western Australia.
8. State Law Publisher 1965, Poisons Regulations, Reprint 2000, Western Australia.
Guidelines for the School-based Vaccination Program
This document can be made available in alternative formats
on request for a person with a disability.
© Department of Health 2014
Copyright to this material is vested in the State of Western Australia unless otherwise indicated.
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as
permitted under the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced or re-used
for any purposes whatsoever without written permission of the State of Western Australia.