Australian Immunisation Handbook

 Supporting the Australian Immunisation Handbook

The NCIRS Policy Support program area plays a key role in informing Australia's national clinical guideline for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines, The Australian Immunisation Handbook (the Handbook).

ATAGI formulates all clinical advice and recommendations in the Handbook, which is endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council and published by the Department of Health. NCIRS has played a major role in the Handbook’s development, since 2005.

The Handbook team within the NCIRS Policy Support program area leads many aspects of Handbook development:

  • We monitor and review changes in the immunisation landscape, from vaccine registrations to new scientific evidence, which are relevant to formulating and updating recommendations in the Handbook.
  • We support the Department of Health in the Handbook development and publication process, including annual updates as well as new editions.
  • We synthesise, interpret and translate the best available scientific evidence to assist in formulating evidence based clinical recommendations on the use of vaccines, in the Handbook. This includes completion of literature searches, critical appraisal of literature and the preparation of evidence summaries. This calls upon the expertise from other members of NCIRS Policy Support program area and the wider NCIRS.
  • We draft every individual chapter of the Handbook in collaboration with the lead Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) member responsible for the chapter, together with external experts as required.
  • We undertake scientific editing and proofing of all chapters of the Handbook.
  • We develop a number of NCIRS resources for immunisation providers that support their understanding of the content, especially recommendations, of the Handbook.

The latest edition of The Handbook is the10th edition, which was published by the Australian Government Department of Health in March 2013. A number of updates have been made since its publication, which are available on the Immunise Australia website.  Because of this, the electronic version of the 10th Edition Handbook is the most up-to-date, superseding the hardcopy, and should be referred to for advice on the use of vaccines in Australia