Adolescent school-bAsed vAccinAtion in AustrAliA
Adolescents have become an increasingly prominent target group for vaccination in Australia and other developed countries. Over the past decade, voluntary school-based vaccination programs have evolved to become the primary method of delivering adolescent vaccines funded under Australia's National Immunisation Program (NIP). These programs operate at a state and territory level and offer NIP vaccines to adolescents in specific school grades using local teams of trained vaccine providers. This
... per summarises the current operation of voluntary school-based vaccination programs in Australia. Information was obtained through a literature review, semi-structured interviews with those managing and implementing school-based vaccination programs in each jurisdiction and a review of program resources. Available coverage data was obtained from each state or territory. Vaccines are delivered at the school, during school hours, and typically target late primary or early secondary school grades. Written parental consent is required for any vaccine to be administered. Operation of the programs is influenced by various factors at the school and provider level. Despite variability in program implementation, collection and analysis of coverage data, comparable coverage has been achieved across all states and territories. Coverage is higher than that reported by other countries where adolescent vaccines are mandated for school entry or available only through community vaccination providers. Voluntary school-based vaccination programs are an established mechanism for the delivery of adolescent vaccines in Australia and vaccines offered will continue to evolve in light of national recommendations. Current gaps in evidence include a detailed understanding of the influence of procedural factors on uptake, the best ways to maximise consent form return and, standardisation of coverage data reporting.