From 4 January 2017 to be endorsed as a new BCG vaccinator, the individual must apply to their local medical officer of health and provide the following documented evidence that they:
- have been nominated by their employer for endorsement as a BCG vaccinator
- are a current authorised vaccinator
- have successfully completed a Ministry of Health approved online BCG vaccination course
- have completed under clinical supervision (by a currently approved BCG clinical assessor) a minimum of five BCG vaccinations and
- have completed an independent clinical assessment by an approved BCG clinical assessor.
BCG vaccinator endorsement is valid for two years from the date of the BCG vaccinator training.
Note: an approved BCG clinical assessor must be approved by the medical officer of health.
Previously gazetted BCG vaccinators
All BCG vaccinators gazetted prior to 4 January 2017 will be given one off national BCG endorsement by the Ministry of Health for a two year period until 4 January 2019.
Prior to 4 January 2019, these BCG vaccinators will need to apply to their local medical officer of health to renew their BCG vaccinator endorsement if they intend to continue providing BCG vaccination. Refer to the requirements below for renewal of BCG vaccinator endorsement.
It is the BCG vaccinator’s professional responsibility to ensure they apply for regional endorsement.
Two yearly renewal of BCG vaccinator endorsement
To renew BCG vaccinator endorsement, the individual must apply to their local medical officer of health and provide the following documented evidence that they:
Access to the online BCG vaccination course
- are a current authorised vaccinator, and
- have completed an online BCG vaccination update course.
To access the BCG online vaccination course go to the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) website. You can register for the course by choosing ‘Update for Trained Vaccinator (UPD) Online' under 'View Courses'.
As with all other IMAC online courses there will be a small charge to access the BCG online course.
BCG vaccinator register
Since 2002, the Ministry has maintained a register of gazetted BCG vaccinators and will continue to record the names of endorsed BCG vaccinators on notification from the medical officer of health.
Information about endorsed BCG vaccinators can be sent to the Ministry of Health’s Immunisation team at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Immunisation team will update the BCG vaccinator register accordingly.
As a refresher, the Ministry of Health recommends that all gazetted BCG vaccinators complete the online BCG vaccination course before commencing BCG vaccinations.
Moving to another health district
If an endorsed BCG vaccinator moves to another health district and intends to continue offering BCG vaccination they must inform the local medical officer of health before practicing in their health district. The vaccinator will be required to provide the medical officer of health with:
- evidence of their current vaccinator authorisation and BCG endorsement in another health district, and
- details of their proposed work in the district.
The medical officer of health must notify the Ministry of Health’s Immunisation team of the move to another health district so the BCG vaccinator register can be updated.
Sporadic BCG vaccine availability since 2015
From 2015 to 2018 there was a global shortage of BCG vaccine due to manufacturing issues, which affected New Zealand and many other countries. Vaccine supplies are now available to order.
The Ministry of Health has not recommend a catch-up programme for older children who met the criteria over the period the vaccine was unavailable. Parents or caregivers may request BCG vaccination for such children. These requests are assessed on a case by case basis to ensure they meet the criteria below, and children under the age of one year should be prioritised.
Babies or children less than five years of age are eligible for BCG vaccination if they meet the following criteria:
- they will be living in a house or family/whānau with a person with either current TB or a history of TB
- they have one or both parents or household members or carers who, within the last 5 years, lived for a period of 6 months or longer in countries with a TB rate ≥ 40 per 100,000 (list available online)
- during their first 5 years they will be living for 3 months or longer in a country with a TB rate ≥ 40 per 100,000.
If the child is aged 6 months or older they must have a pre-vaccination tuberculin skin test to detect whether they have already been in contact with Tuberculosis, with BCG vaccination only being given if the child is uninfected.