Understanding Vaccines for Midwives: Vaccination requirements during pregnancy and early childhood

Understanding Vaccines for Midwives: Vaccination requirements during pregnancy and early childhood is a high quality online training course that uses animation and interactivity to promote learning. It has been designed to provide an introduction to immunisation and key vaccines and topics relevant to midwives and aims to assist midwives to deliver a safe and effective immunisation service by:

  • introducing the learner to information on the theoretical and practical components of immunisation
  • guiding the learner to utilise the relevant resources that support best practice when delivering an immunisation service, and
  • assisting the learner to assess their understanding of the relevant information.

This program does not aim to cover detailed information on all vaccines on the National Immunisation Program; rather it aims to equip midwives with knowledge and skills to feel confident to engage with parents on the topic of vaccines and vaccination.

Course Images

Course content

The program is divided into 2 Modules and each module contains 4 chapters.

Module 1: The National Immunisation Program and the childhood vaccine schedule

Module 1: Chapter 1 - Why we immunise
This chapter introduces the learner to the benefits of immunisation in reducing the spread of infectious disease, the role of immunisation in the reduction in morbidity and mortality due to immunisation, and the concept of herd immunity.

Module 1: Chapter 2 - Midwives and the National Immunisation Program
The National Immunisation Program and the importance of the key role of midwives play in promoting the NIP is discussed in this chapter.

Module 1: Chapter 3 - The immune system
On completion of this chapter the learner will have an understanding of the bodies 3 lines of defence against infection, and different types of immunity.

Module 1: Chapter 4 - Vaccine preventable diseases and the childhood vaccine schedule
This chapter discusses the difference between inactivated and live vaccines, explains the rationale for placement of vaccines on the schedule, discusses vaccine preventable diseases, identifies the relevant resources for different community groups and explains how to talk with parents about vaccines and vaccination.

Module 2: Administering vaccines to pregnant women

Module 2: Chapter 1 - Vaccines and pregnant women
This chapter summarises vaccination during pregnancy and how this protects both mother and infant against influenza and pertussis infections. It also demonstrates how health care provider recommendations are strongly associated with high vaccine uptake in pregnant women.

Module 2: Chapter 2 - Vaccine safety and risk communication
This chapter has been developed to provide the learner with an understanding of the key elements of vaccine safety

Module 2: Chapter 3 - Cold chain management
This chapter summarises the vaccine cold chain management and discusses the definition of a cold chain breach, the cost of vaccine wastage, the people, processes and equipment necessary to maintain the cold chain, and how to manage cold chain problems.

Module 2: Chapter 4 - Delivering an Immunisation Service
Pre-vaccination screening required prior to administering a vaccine, contraindications and false contraindications to vaccination as well as administration technique and the elements necessary to provide a safe immunisation service are discussed in this chapter.

Learning outcomes

Module 1 - Learning objectives
On completion of this module you will be able to:

  • discuss the benefits of immunisation and the concept of herd immunity
  • explain National Immunisation Program Schedule
  • understand the role of the midwife in the delivery of immunisation information and the administration of vaccines
  • compare passive and active immunity
  • compare the difference inactivated and live vaccines
  • explain the rationale for placement of vaccines on the schedule
  • discuss vaccine preventable diseases and talk with parents about vaccines and vaccination
  • identify relevant resources for different community groups

Module 2 - Learning objectives
On completion of this module you will be able to:

  • identify the recommended and funded vaccines for pregnant women
  • explain the rationale for maternal pertussis vaccination
  • discuss influenza disease in pregnancy and the maternal influenza vaccination program
  • examine the outcomes of research into attitudes of pregnant women to vaccines and vaccination
  • compare the risks of vaccine preventable disease against the side effects of vaccination
  • recognise and manage anaphylaxis
  • understand the role of health practitioners in the vaccine safety process
  • state the NHMRC recommendations for monitoring, storage, and transport of vaccines, and
  • integrate theoretical knowledge into the clinical setting to deliver a safe immunisation service


Content - Monday and Friday 9-5 to assist learners with any questions.
Technical - e3Learning provide technical assistance Monday- Friday 9-5.

Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development

The program is an Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Course and has an allocation of 20 CPD hours. 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. This will be posted to the address supplied at registration.

This certificate leads to authorisation in South Australia provided all other requirements of the Vaccine Administration Code are met.

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.