Immunisation Project Evaluation Reference Group (2017 – 2019)
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is funding a Refugee Immunisation Project which aims to increase immunisation coverage rates in newly arrived refugee and asylum seeker populations. Funding has been allocated in several areas in an attempt to increase coverage rates among these groups. Three funded catch-up immunisation programs are:
- Hume/Whittlesea Project – a new program delivered in partnership between Hume City Council and the City of Whittlesea that supports the triage, tracking and referral of newly arrived Syrian and Iraqi refugees into existing immunisation services, the implementation of follow-up procedures to ensure catch-up immunisation schedules are complete, and the collection and analysis of data to determine immunisation coverage rates for this population.
- City of Greater Dandenong – program to provide ongoing support for the continued provision of catch-up immunisation for students from refugee backgrounds at the Noble Park English Language School (NPELS).
- Asylum Seeker Resource Centre – program to provide catch-up immunisation as part of the Centre’s health program, targeting Medicare-ineligible asylum seekers.
The Victorian Refugee Health Network was funded to provide project support and convene an Immunisation Evaluation Reference Group. The Immunisation Evaluation Reference Group acts as a mechanism to support funded services across the three catch-up immunisation programs to review their performance on agreed key performance measures, jointly problem-solve issues that arise, and meet their reporting requirements to DHHS. See the Immunisation Evaluation Reference Group Membership and Terms of Reference.
Immunisation Working Group (2015 – 2016)
In late 2015, the Victorian Refugee Health Network established an interdisciplinary, cross-sector Working Group to improve access to catch-up immunisations for people from refugee backgrounds including people seeking asylum in Victoria. The Working Group aimed to progress some of the recommendations from the 2014 needs analysis report.
The Working Group was chaired by Dr Georgie Paxton, Head of Immigrant Health and Consultant Paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital. See the Immunisation Working Group Membership and Terms of Reference.
The Working Group contributed to the development of the following resources:
- Policy Briefings on No Jab, No Pay – implications for service providers and refugee background communities (March 2016) and ACIR – Issues Arising (June 2016)
- Information sheets on catch-up immunisation for case workers and immunisation providers and a multilingual brochure for clients (available in Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Chin, Dari, Farsi, Karen and Tamil) – these resources are available on the Immunisation page in the Learn section of the Network website
- A summary update detailing progress on the recommendations from the 2014 needs analysis, including recommendations either partially or fully achieved, and those that are still outstanding: Update – catch-up immunisation in refugee background and asylum seeker communities in Victoria (September 2016)
A needs analysis of catch-up immunisation in refugee-background and asylum seeker communities in Victoria (2014)
This project examined catch-up immunisation for people from refugee backgrounds in Victoria, and explored effective models of service delivery to complete catch-up vaccinations. The needs analysis was based on a premise of equity – that refugee-background Victorians should be immunised equivalent to an Australian-born person of the same age. The project was completed through the Victorian Refugee Health Network, with funding provided by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. Read the final needs analysis report.
For further information about the Network’s Immunisation Projects, please contact Lauren Tyrrell, Sector Development and Policy Advisor on (03) 9389 8996 or