Who can become an authorised vaccinator?
Registered nurses and midwives who have attended and passed the knowledge and clinical assessments of a full vaccinator-training course (usually 2 days) can apply to become an authorised vaccinator. Other health professionals such as paramedics who want to be become authorised vaccinators should contact the medical officer of health to discuss their situation as these are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Can pharmacists become vaccinators?
Since 2011 Pharmacists are able to administer specific vaccines as pharmacist vaccinators if they have successfully passed a Ministry of Health approved vaccinator training course (VTC) and a clinical assessment and are complying with the New Zealand Immunisation Standards and Guidelines (outlined in the Immunisation Handbook 2017 appendix 3). Pharmacist vaccinator status is valid for 2 years from the date of their initial VTC. Two yearly renewal of pharmacist vaccinator status requires fulfilling the education, registration requirements and a current CPR certificate.
Who do pharmacists contact when they have passed their vaccinator training?
Pharmacists should contact the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) which maintains a register of pharmacist vaccinators. Pharmacist vaccinators are not required to apply to the medical officer of health for authorised vaccinator status.
As a registered nurse or midwife, when can I administer vaccinations?
If you are a registered nurse or midwife, under current New Zealand law you can administer vaccinations if: (a) the vaccine has been prescribed by a medical practitioner; (b) there is a standing order for vaccinations at the healthcare facility where you work; or (c) you are an authorised vaccinator and you are vaccinating as part of an approved national or local immunisation programme.
If I am an authorised vaccinator, can I prescribe any vaccine for my patients?
No. As an authorised vaccinator you cannot prescribe vaccines but you can administer vaccinations that are part of an approved immunisation programme. These can either be national immunisation programmes approved by the Ministry of Health, such as the National Immunisation Schedule, or a Local Immunisation Programme approved by the medical officer of health.
How do I know if an immunisation programme is approved?
The National Immunisation Schedule is a nationally approved immunisation programme. If you are uncertain whether other immunisation programmes are approved, ask your programme manager or contact us for this information. If the immunisation programme is not approved, you or your programme manager will need to apply to the medical officer of health for approval of a new Local Immunisation Programme.
If I am an authorised vaccinator, can I get other nurses without authorisation to administer vaccinations on my behalf?
No. Your authorisation as a vaccinator cannot be transferred to other nurses.
I am reapplying for my authorisation to be renewed and I need to complete a peer-reviewed self assessment of my clinical skills. Can the doctor I work with act as my peer reviewer?
No. Only another authorised vaccinator can act as a peer reviewer for a peer-reviewed self assessment.