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:
- are a current authorised vaccinator, and
- have completed an online BCG vaccination update course.
Access to the online BCG vaccination course
To access the BCG online vaccination course go to the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) website.
As with all other IMAC online courses there will be a small charge to access the BCG online course.
BCG vaccinator register
Please note the Ministry of Health's previous register of gazetted BCG vaccinators was retired on 4 January 2019 as it was no longer applicable under the new legislation.
Any new or previously-gazetted BCG vaccinators are confirmed as BCG-endorsed vaccinators by their Medical Officer of Health, who will maintain records locally. No further notification is required to the Ministry of Health.
Moving to another health district
BCG-endorsed authorised vaccinators are approved regionally by Medical Officers of Health and must notify their Medical Officer of Health if ceasing practice or no longer practising in the region. Individuals wishing to practise in another region must be approved beforehand by the Medical Officer of Health, and provide the new local 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.
Access to BCG vaccine
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is only available through local District Health Board (DHB) BCG vaccination programmes, to babies and children aged 0-5 that meet the following eligibility criteria (as per the PHARMAC Schedule):
- 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 (see current list)
- 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.
Babies under 6 months of age that meet the above eligibility criteria are considered highest priority and midwives should screen babies for referral to local DHB BCG vaccination clinics.
Children aged between 6 months and 5 years may need to have a tuberculin skin test in the first instance to detect whether they have already been infected with TB.
From 2015 to 2018 there was a global shortage of BCG vaccine. Parents or caregivers of older children who met the eligibility criteria over the period the vaccine was unavailable may request BCG vaccination for such children, for assessment on a case-by-case basis.