Questions and answers – Recording adult vaccines on the National Immunisation Register

Answers to questions that may be asked about recording adult vaccines on the National Immunisation Register

On this page:

  1. Why is the Ministry of Health putting adult vaccines like the influenza, MMR and Tdap vaccine on the NIR?
  2. Why is the Ministry only recording adult vaccines given in general practices on the NIR but not vaccines given in pharmacies, or by occupational health nurses?
  3. How do I know if my PMS is recording vaccines onto the NIR?
  4. Need more information?

Vaccines on offer to adults at a pharmacy

  1. Are pharmacies offering funded or non-funded vaccines? 
  2. Should the pharmacy notify the GP of any vaccines given and then the GP could put it onto the NIR? 
  3. Do pharmacies have the same authorised vaccinator training, resuscitation equipment on site and comply with the national cold chain guidelines?

Why is the Ministry of Health putting adult vaccines like the influenza, MMR and Tdap vaccine on the NIR?

For some time now many clinicians and researchers have been asking the Ministry to include adult vaccines on the NIR to provide a full picture of a person’s vaccination status. Our priority was recording childhood vaccines on the NIR. 

From 2013, the NIR has been modified to record information on some adult vaccines (Tdap and Influenza) given in general practice. Patients will need to be informed about the NIR and agree to their information being recorded on it. The Ministry sees this as an extension of the National Immunisation Programme.

Unlike Childhood vaccines, adult vaccines will not have any PMS/NIR scheduling options.  Therefore, any recalls required for additional vaccines will need to be completed manually.

Why is the Ministry only recording adult vaccines given in general practices on the NIR but not vaccines given in pharmacies, or by occupational health nurses?

Data is being collected from general practices because they already have an electronic patient management system (PMS) that can ‘talk’ to the NIR. The Ministry hopes to be able to work with pharmacists to adapt their electronic system to talk to the NIR, but this will not be in place for the 2014 influenza immunisation season.

Because of the large volume of influenza vaccines given each year, the Ministry does not expect pharmacists, occupational health nurses or NIR administrators to manually record on the NIR influenza vaccines given to adults.

How do I know if my PMS is recording vaccines onto the NIR?

Please check with your PMS vendor. It is very likely they have recently sent information to your practice on various enhancements and an upgrade may be required. Please contact your local PMS vendor if you while more information about your PMS.

Need more information?

The monthly Immunisation Update which is faxed to general practices will record any NIR changes.  The Ministry of Health NIR website page will also be updated as new information becomes available.

Please send your questions to immunisation@moh.govt.nz

Vaccines on offer to adults at a pharmacy

Are pharmacies offering funded or non-funded vaccines? 

Some pharmacists are offering non-funded vaccines to adults as approved by Medsafe, the regulating authority.  If an adult who is entitled to a funded vaccine presents at a pharmacy for immunisation they are advised that they are eligible for free vaccination at their GP and will be referred back to their GP.

In some instances, individuals who are eligible for funded vaccines may insist on being vaccinated immediately by the pharmacist. They will then be charged the full pharmacy rate for the vaccine and administration, and the immunisation information will be sent to their GP.

Should the pharmacy notify the GP of any vaccines given and then the GP could put it onto the NIR? 

Pharmacies should continue to inform general practices when they give influenza or other adult vaccines so that GPs can add these vaccines to their practice records, but the Ministry does not expect these vaccines to be recorded on the NIR by general practice when given by another health professional.

Do pharmacies have the same authorised vaccinator training, resuscitation equipment on site and comply with the national cold chain guidelines?

Although pharmacists are not approved by the local medical officer of health as authorised vaccinators, they must meet national vaccinator training requirements, immunisation standards, comply with CPR requirements, and cold chain accreditation requirements.

Pharmacists can also vaccinate off-site from the pharmacy.
 

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