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The National Immunisation Program Schedule in Australia is formulated and funded nationally under the population-wide Medicare system. The policy is implemented by the eight state and territory jurisdictions. The national immunisation registers consist of the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), and, more recently, the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program Register. Moreover, a variety of jurisdiction-based registers and primary care practice software systems exist, which interact with the national registers. General practitioners can obtain reports listing patients under seven years attending their practice and recorded as 'not fully immunised', and immunisation coverage rates for their practice linked to government incentives through Medicare. A 2011 report documents national coverage of 91.8% fully immunised at 12 months, and 92.6% at 24 months. The HPV register provides information on vaccination coverage with the potential to link with a register of cervical cancer screening results. Limitations of current national register include inability to easily access immunisation histories beyond seven years of age, and issues of underreporting and timeliness, which impact significantly the immunisation coverage estimates. The linkage of these registers with healthcare outcome data will further enhance public health outcomes by enabling rapid, population-level vaccine safety and effectiveness investigations in a nation with a track record as an 'early adopter' of new childhood vaccines.


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