Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program

Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program is a high quality online training course that uses animation and interactivity to promote learning.

It has been designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of immunology and immunisation to enable practitioners to become confident and competent independent immunisation providers. The course comprises of 5 Modules further divided into chapters and is endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing and attracts 50 CPD hours.

Course Images

Course content

The following is a course outline which provides information on the topics covered in the course.

Microbiology, immunology and vaccines

Module 1 describes the fundamentals of microbiology and immunology, providing a foundation for further understanding on the disease process, the chain of infection, vaccine development and how vaccines work. Five chapters cover:

  1. Why we immunise
  2. Basic Microbiology
  3. Basic Immunology
  4. Vaccines on the National Immunisation Program
  5. Vaccine Performance and Vaccine Licensing.

The National Immunisation Program and vaccine preventable diseases

Module 2 provides a framework for understanding vaccine preventable diseases and vaccines provided through the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Eight chapters cover:

  1. Measles, mumps and rubella disease and live attenuated vaccines
  2. Varicella disease and live attenuated vaccines
  3. Rotavirus disease and live attenuated vaccines
  4. Poliomyelitis and hepatitis A disease and whole inactivated vaccines
  5. Diphtheria and tetanus disease and toxoid vaccines
  6. Pertussis and influenza disease and subunit vaccines
  7. Meningococcal, pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease and conjugate and polysaccharide vaccines
  8. Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus disease and recombinant subunit vaccines.

Aboriginal people and other groups with special immunisation requirements

Module 3 consists of one chapter that covers groups with special immunisation requirements.

Legislation and risk communication relating to immunisation practice

Module 4 consists of one chapter and assists the learner to understand and apply the relevant legislative requirements to clinical practice and effectively communicate risk in the clinical setting.

Vaccine cold chain, vaccine safety and delivering an immunisation service

Module 5 introduces the learner to the requirements necessary to deliver a high quality and safe immunisation service. Three chapters cover:

  1. Vaccine cold chain management
  2. Vaccine safety
  3. Delivering an immunisation service.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course you will have a sound understanding of:

  • the importance of immunisation from a public health perspective
  • the fundamentals of microbiology, immunology and the disease process
  • natural and acquired immunity
  • how vaccines work
  • vaccine preventable diseases and associated vaccines
  • the National Immunisation Program
  • vaccine safety and cold chain management
  • how to deliver a safe immunisation service

Target audience

Primarily registered nurses but is applicable to any health professional involved in the delivery of immunisation services.

Time for completion

This course must be completed within 20 weeks from the date of registration.

Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development

Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program is endorsed by Australian College of Nursing according to their Continuing Professional Development Endorsed Course Standards. It has been allocated 50 CPD hours according to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Continuing Professional Development Standard.

On completion of the course all learners will be able to print a Record of Study that can be used as evidence for continuing professional development.

Certificates awarded

Health professionals who successfully complete and meet all course requirements will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

State and Territory legislation governs whether this certificate allows the health professional to immunise independent of a medical order. Currently Understanding Vaccines and The National Immunisation Program is an approved training program in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

SA Health reserves the right to withhold issuing a certificate if the learner is deemed not to have successfully completed the program and met all course requirements. In this case the learner will only receive a Record of Study.