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Medical Exemptions for Immunisation

12 February 2018

GPs and now some specialists may notify the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) in the event of a medical exemption for immunisation. Medical exemptions to vaccination can only be issued due to a medical contraindication or natural immunity.

The medical basis for vaccination exemption is based on guidance in the Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition.

Medical contraindications to vaccinations are rare and limited to:


  • previous anaphylaxis to vaccine/vaccine component
  • significant immunocompromise (live attenuated vaccines only)



  • acute major medical illness
  • significant immunocompromise of short duration (live attenuated vaccines only)
  • the individual is pregnant (live attenuated vaccines only)

Natural immunity to hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella must be confirmed via laboratory testing or physician based clinical diagnosis. Exemption to a combination vaccine on the bases of natural immunity is only valid if immunity is confirmed for all vaccine antigens. Conscientious objection (vaccination objection on non-medical grounds) is no longer a valid exemption from the immunisation requirements for certain family payments. 

Medical exemptions can be notified through the AIR website.

For more information about the AIR, please go to the Department of Human Services website or call 1800 653 809 (call charges may apply).


Webmaster: Samantha O'Hare, Bachelor of Arts (Comms/Internet)

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