National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines for people of refugee, asylum seeker, and humanitarian entrant backgrounds

A letter from the Deputy Chief Health Officer was sent to  local Victorian councils on 9 January 2024 advising of eligibility for NIP vaccines. The purpose of this letter was to provide clarification to councils on individuals ineligible for NIP vaccines (who were also not of refugee/asylum seeker status) for the purposes of the Secondary School Immunisation Program, particularly international students.


There has been no change to the NIP eligibility requirements or Victorian policy for vaccination of refugee and asylum seekers. The Commonwealth guidance states that NIP vaccines are free for ‘refugees and humanitarian entrants of any age’. As you are aware, the definitions of humanitarian entrants and asylum seekers are complex, and it has been common practice in Victoria (including under PRIME) for all asylum seekers to be treated as humanitarian entrants with respect to immunisation. If your council requires greater clarity around who is considered a humanitarian entrant, you could contact the Commonwealth.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Immunisation Uni at the Department of Health at


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