COVID-19: Vaccine information for health professionals

Find useful resources, guidance and the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine for the health sector, DHBs, health providers and vaccinators.

Last updated: 23 July 2021

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Vaccine operating guidelines

The COVID-19 Vaccine Operating Guidelines help District Health Boards (DHBs) and health providers maintain public safety and make sure that consistent and equitable COVID-19 vaccination practices are in place across New Zealand.

The Operating Guidelines provide guidance on establishing and managing a COVID-19 vaccination site and includes guidelines for the vaccination workforce.

COVID-19 Vaccine Operating Guidelines (PDF, 4.36 MB)
COVID-19 Vaccine Operating Guidelines (Word, 4.96 MB)
Version 16.0 – last updated 15 July 2021

Planning guidelines

These documents outline the planning considerations for different vaccine service delivery models and are intended to support DHBs and providers to plan for vaccine delivery in their communities.

Existing accredited vaccination health care facilities

Planning guidance for delivering the vaccine through existing health care settings: general practice, community pharmacy, hauora providers and urgent care centres.

COVID-19 vaccine planning guidance – existing accredited vaccination health care facilities (PDF, 1.16MB)
Version 1.0 – last updated May 2021


Planning guidance for employers, occupational health providers and DHBs wishing to deliver the vaccine through workplaces.

COVID-19 vaccine planning guidance – workplaces (PDF, 1.43 MB)
Version 9.0 – last updated 9 July 2021

Community vaccination centres

Planning guidance for delivering the vaccine through fixed or temporary community sites, including marae and faith-based settings.

COVID-19 vaccine planning guidance – community vaccination centres (PDF, 968 KB)
Version 1.0 – last updated 9 July 2021

Mass vaccination events

Planning guidance for large pop-up events delivering at least 5,000 vaccinations per day (or a smaller event that would be ‘mass’ in lower-population areas).

COVID-19 vaccine planning guidance – mass vaccination events (PDF, 1.36 MB)
Version 1.0 – last updated 9 July 2021

Clinical guidance and resources

Update on underlying health conditions

The Ministry has provided clarity about the relevant underlying health conditions included in Group 3. 
In summary, people who are aged 16 and over and who meet one or more of the following criteria can now receive their COVID-19 vaccine as part of Group 2 and Group 3. If they:

  • have a health condition that means they're eligible for a publicly-funded influenza vaccine, including pregnant people. Eligibility criteria: Influenza vaccination
  • have been diagnosed with severe mental illness (which includes schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, and adults currently accessing secondary and tertiary mental health and addiction services)
  • have poorly controlled or severe hypertension (hypertension is another name for high blood pressure). In this case severe is defined as requiring two or more medications for control.
  • are severely obese (defined as a BMI of 40 or higher). BMI calculator

As always, clinicians may use their discretion around whether additional patients should be included in Group 2 or Group 3 if they are at a higher risk of poor health outcomes from getting COVID-19. Equity is a primary concern. Proof of diagnosis or condition is not required.

Latest clinical updates from the newsletter

These clinical updates are from the fortnightly newsletter that's published by the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme, specifically for the health and disability sector.

The newsletter includes the latest COVID-19 vaccine information. You can sign up for the newsletter and see previous issues:

Vaccine updates – health sector newsletter

21 July 2021: border order, saliva testing, disability funding, more

Border Order

A Vaccination Order making it compulsory for most border workers to be vaccinated is now in place. All government employees covered by the order must have had their first dose by 26 August.

Read the expanded Vaccination Order.

Saliva testing

Frontline border workers will soon be able to choose saliva testing under the required Testing Order as a full replacement for the nasopharyngeal testing from mid August.

Disability communication funding decision

Successful applicants for the disabled peoples COVID-19 immunisation and vaccine communication fund have now been contacted and agreements are currently underway.

Mass vaccinations

New Zealand’s first mass vaccination will be held in Manukau from Friday 30 July to Sunday 1 August.

Become a vaccination site

The Ministry has just released a new COVID-19 Primary Care Onboarding Guide which outlines how primary care providers can establish and manage a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Supported decision-making and consent for disabled people

Training on supported decision making and the informed consent process for disabled people has been launched.

Body size needle requirements

IMAC has issued advice on adapting needle type, vaccine preparation and injection techniques.

Read the guidance supporting the administration of mRNA-CV vaccine (PDF, 232 KB on

7 July 2021: Janssen approval, payment improvements, adverse events, more

Medsafe provisionally approves Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years of age and older. Medsafe’s provisional approval does not mean that we have committed to using the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand as part of our COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme (CVIP). Medsafe’s provisional approval is the first step, with further consideration required by Cabinet on options for the use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.

Assessing and approving the vaccines

Payment Improvements for providers vaccinating at national rates

For providers of COVID-19 vaccines contracted using the nationally agreed Price Per Dose (PPD) rates, the payment process just got simpler and more efficient. If you have a PPD contract, when your vaccinators log into CIR with your provider and site, the new PPD solution will link this to your contract and process any vaccination events in CIR automatically for payment on a weekly basis. This will improve efficiency for both providers and DHBs and result in a quicker turnaround of payments to providers for their vaccination services. Talk to your DHB about whether the new PPD solution is right for you.

The COVID-19 vaccinator role

We encourage you to reach out to people in your networks who have worked in a health care setting, such as kaiāwhina who may be interested in the role of a vaccinator. The training and assessment will require COVID-19 vaccinators to achieve the same standard as authorised and provisional vaccinators for the tasks they will be trained to perform. An information pack was sent out to the sector last week and can be found here.

Management of subsequent vaccination for those who experienced an Adverse Event Following Immunisation

A sector group (in conjunction with IMAC) has developed a new pathway for the clinical review of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI). It is divided into two sub-pathways which are available on the IMAC website:

Both pathways emphasise:

  • the need for a clinical advisor who is responsible for reviewing these events and providing guidance
  • good documentation on the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR)
  • notification of the AEFI to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).

Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) reporting

Medsafe has provided an update on myocarditis and pericarditis following release of information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); myocarditis is a potential safety signal that Medsafe is closely monitoring with a communication issued on 9 June.

We encourage reporting of AEFI experienced by consumers within the initial observation period after COVID-19 vaccination in the COVID Immunisation Register and any other suspected AEFI with COVID-19 vaccines to be reported using the COVID-19 vaccine-specific reporting form on the CARM website. Please use this form to report all suspected AEFIs for COVID-19 vaccines that you are made aware of. You do not have to be certain that the vaccine caused the event to report.

Updated advice on the COVID-19 Vaccination in the frail elderly

Advice, Ethical Considerations and clinical guidance on administering the COVID-19 vaccine to frail elderly with multiple comorbidities has been provided to the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) and other clinical practitioners for review and dissemination via the IMAC website. Information can be found here under the special groups tab.

Vaccine Screening assessment resources

IMAC has recently developed new pre-vaccination screening and assessment resources, which are available on

Formal COVID vaccine preparation guidance is currently being updated by IMAC.

23 June 2021: people with cancer, adverse events

People with cancer

Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency, has updated its advice for clinicians on COVID-19 vaccines and cancer. People with cancer are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and are more likely to develop a serious infection.

The advice supports people with cancer receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and provides guidance around optimal timing to administer the vaccine for those receiving active treatment. You can find the most recent version of the advice and FAQs for people with cancer here.

Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) reporting

Medsafe has issued an M² communication for myocarditis. Any events of this nature in consumers following vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM). In addition, we are closely monitoring a number of adverse events of special interest (AESI). These are pre-specified medically significant events that have the theoretical potential to be causally associated with the vaccine based on past experience, the technology used to make the vaccine, or the infection the vaccine is used to protect against. Medsafe’s weekly Safety Report for COVID-19 vaccines now includes a table providing an overview of the number of reports of AESI.

A number of deaths have been reported to CARM after the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. CARM and Medsafe have assessed these cases and found that the deaths were unlikely to be caused by the vaccine. By chance, some people will experience new illnesses or die from a pre-existing condition shortly after vaccination, especially if they are elderly. Therefore, part of our review process includes comparing natural death rates to observed death rates following vaccination to determine any specific trends or patterns that might indicate a vaccine safety concern. There are currently no indications to suggest that the vaccine caused these deaths. To date, the observed number of deaths reported after vaccination is less than the expected number of deaths.

We encourage reporting of AEFI experienced by consumers within the initial observation period after COVID-19 vaccination in the CIR and any other suspected AEFI with COVID-19 vaccines to be reported using the COVID-19 vaccine-specific reporting form on the CARM website. Please use this form to report all suspected AEFIs for COVID-19 vaccines that you are made aware of.

Immunisation handbook

The Immunisation Handbook 2020 has a specific chapter about COVID-19 vaccines, including detailed clinical guidance.

The handbook provides clinical guidelines for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice.

These guidelines are based on the best scientific evidence available at the time of publication, from published and unpublished literature.

Immunisation Handbook 2020

Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) has been contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide education, training and support to all health professionals and allied workforces during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

Support is available via the IMAC website or 0800 IMMUNE. You can find out more about becoming a COVID-19 vaccinator or how we will build our COVID-19 vaccinator workforce. 

COVID-19 education – vaccinator information (IMAC)
COVID-19 education – for health and allied workers (IMAC)

Medsafe vaccine approval and data

Medsafe have approval status updates and datasheets for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Approval status of COVID vaccine applications
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – Consumer medicine information summary (Medsafe)
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – New Zealand data sheet (Medsafe)

Āwhina app for vaccine updates

The Āwhina app puts tailored COVID-19 information in the hands of health workers.

We’re using the app to alert vaccinators and their supports to clinical, critical or time-sensitive updates. The app allows us to send immediate push notifications to vaccinators and supports.

Anyone can download Āwhina. It will be particularly useful for vaccinators, practice managers or anyone involved in the vaccination programme.

Find out more and download Āwhina

Vaccine training

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) are running:

  • COVID-19 vaccine training for GPs
  • a COVID-19 educator training module for authorised or pharmacist vaccinators 
  • COVID-19 provisional vaccinator training for healthcare professionals in an eligible vaccinating profession
  • COVID-19 training to enable people to become part of the new health workforce of COVID-19 vaccinators working under supervision
  • a 'Train the Trainer' programme supporting the current immunisation workforce with information to support their teams in training later.

Webinars and Q&A sessions

IMAC are also hosting a range of webinars and weekly drop-in online Q&A sessions to share what they know on COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout with health professionals.

This will include webinars for qualified health professionals interested in taking on the role of a Vaccination Clinical Supervisor for the new health workforce of COVID-19 Vaccinators working under supervision. 

See upcoming events and register – IMAC

The COVID Vaccine and Immunisation Programme run fortnightly webinars for primary and community care (Thursday mornings, 11am-12noon), providing updates and highlighting areas of work within the programme.

If you would like to receive an invitation to these webinars, that are run via Microsoft Teams, please email [email protected] 

Watch the latest webinar from 14 July 2021

Kia ora koutou te whanau. Look I'll introduce myself. I think I know some of the names on webinar familiar to me, others aren't. So I'm Vince Barry, and I'm standing in for Joe Bourne due to a tragic event on Monday morning. He's in therapy called European Cup final loss. And so we won't see him for another week or so. I understand that therapy is pretty successful, so we should have him back for the next webinar.

So look my role here, in the program is sort of lead for the South Island rollout of the vaccination program and got a couple of national portfolios around being effectively the point guard for mass event development and those things. So my day job as Pegasus Health primary care network in Canterbury. So I'm up here at this stage until the end of August and possibly for a little bit longer, we'll just have to see how things go so.

So you've got me comparing things for the next week while, we look at the agenda it doesn't look a bit deep in terms of time, so we may give you the gift of time at the end of this. Otherwise we'll be pulling up around the day so, so welcome everybody. Look on the agenda we have got IMAC colleagues are going to talk to us this morning.

So Loretta and Jane are going to give us some information. And then we've got Lindsay Davis, who's going to give us a little bit of background about what's going on at the border and for a number of you, you would have seen in the media in the last week that they've extended the border order. And so he just wants to talk to you a little bit and I think he's coming in about 11:30 to talk a little bit about the communications with borders and those things.

I thought I could just touch on a couple of points just to open up the webinar anyway and they may be points of relevance for you or not. I'll just touch on mass events, so in the last 24 hours the Minister Hipkins has announced the first mass event, which will be held in Auckland. And there's from my perspective has had a reasonably positive entry into the media.

I think there are a number of questions about, what's the purpose of this? Clearly the mass event, the first one was to be in the first part of July. And really it's one of its primary objective was to try a new model of care that would be low touch high volume, in case there were to be outbreaks and they wanted to target a mass event in certain areas of the country.

So we were trialing the model, which is based on a model out of Canada out of Ontario and has been highly successful in getting large volumes of people through an event in a short period of time. And so therefore it will be relevant to certain populations of people, who will be quite happy just to pretty much have a vaccination as opposed to treat it as an entire into an experience.

So the plan at the moment is to target Monaco Institute of Technology staff and students, and also their whanau, family and whanau, and so that we opened up the bookings for them in the last 24 hours and will monitor who books onto the system. And then we'll actually probably open up the bookings to a wider audience. Look this is not an equity event in any sense, but we want to be assured that we're not doing is creating more inequities and that community.

People will go to Monaco Institute of Technology, they'll check and there will be semi consented at that stage, have a health check and then they'll be shuttled to the Vodafone Event Center. And the whole idea of that, it's a booking system, it's a booking event, so we really do want to try and keep as much control out of that as we can just to see that the model of key is not going to be distracted by lots of other things.

Once you're at the Institute the expectation is that people will probably be there for maximum of 30 minutes. So they'll come in quite quickly be seated, and then they will stay in the one area while they are formally consented vaccinated and observed in the same area. And then they'll move out and then shuffle back to MIT and then go on their merry way.

So that the planning looks great, they've had a initial what they call a dry run. There'll be a run on the day before just to really give it a good go and so far things look OK with that. So I just thought it's important to let you know, that's what got announced yesterday.

The intention will be to think to encourage other areas of the country to think about this. And I am slightly nervous about the terminology mass event, because I think the idea of a one off to be repeated three to six weeks later, a second event doesn't necessarily need to be large groups of people. So if we go to some more provincial areas 400 or 500 a day at an A&P show whatever could be considered to be an event that could use this model of care as well.

So we will be coming out to the sector over the next three to four weeks to talk more about it. There will be a small team at the ministry here, who will become the place where a lot of this institutional knowledge will sit and then we will talk with a number of other areas. But again, I think it's going to be relevant to certain populations of people and not to all. Which leads me onto the next point, which is the group three issue. So as you'll be well aware and I'll look at a number of the titles on the and some familiar colleagues.

The group three has an the media been given a bit of a kicking in my personal view, it was always going to be a difficult task with group three trying to truly understand who they are. The age profile is easy enough, but when you start getting into multiple morbidities and disability mental health it does get harder and harder.

So the personal view I've got is that if we can get an 80% to 90% rate on identifying those people and having them notified and invited from our perspective. And then invite all those other people who believe that group three to make access to the system, then I think we've probably done a good job.

But it is one of the difficulties that we have had with the sequencing framework, that actually trying to stage these things in this way means that it is quite difficult, but clearly the ministers are wanting us to ensure that we've saturated as much of group three as we can before we really open up bookings to group four and into August so. So that the sort of things that were top of mind for me, and I suppose the only other one and these things may generate a couple of questions to pick up after our guests have spoken to us.

But actually it's time to belt up we do just about ready to go, this thing's going to be large, and it's going to be quite distracting from our day jobs of delivery of health and disability care to our communities, because attempting to vaccinate, close to three million people twice over the next four to five months is going to be a massive event for all of us. And so please keep connected, please use forums like this to seek as many answers as you can.

But my main advice or request is seek first to understand, before we criticize each other. There are times now with the specter of health reforms imminent and lots of disruption. I think will care in that world for us to stay really close together and support our communities. So tomorrow we might gospel or pursue for the day.

I'm going to hand over now to my colleagues Loretta and Jane from IMAC who I understand are pretty well connected. And I've spoken to a number of occasions on this forum, so I'll hand over to them and let them go ahead Loretta. Can you hear?

She's on mute.

I can't hear you are on mute there Loretta.

Morena, all. Sorry. On mute. Great to be with you here this morning. I'm actually coming from Taranaki this morning, it's actually very cold. No sunshine here. So Jane is going to present first off this morning just run through a few slides with you, just giving you an update on the pathways in to training. And then very happy to take any questions that you might have, and a few other little bits, which are going to update. So Jane is going to share slides. Are you OK Jane?

Yep bear with me. There we go. All right, hopefully that's working.

Yep all good.

Yep all good. Right. OK so kia ora, everybody. I'm Jane Morphet. I'm the Clinical Education Manager for the COVID program. And I've just got a few slides to go through today to keep you up to date as to where we've got to. So since we started the COVID education program in February this year, we've supported thousands of people. In fact we're coming up to nearly 10,000 through pathways to become a COVID vaccinator.

And we've got a range of courses there, so we've got some new tools on our website as well to help guide people to the appropriate course. So the questions we're asking is, will you be vaccinating? And for those that are vaccinating, then we're splitting the training into health care professionals or non health care professionals. The majority of vaccinators our health care professionals, that I'll touch on the non health care professionals in just a minute. And then we move them into the different courses that are available.

If I go through those in a little bit more detail, starting off with the education for the health care professionals. This is the training that the bulk of the vaccinators will have had. And at the moment we've got a COVID-19 authorized vaccinator course and also a prescribers course. Now, these courses are incredibly similar, except the buccinator course includes things like access to the CIA and a little bit more practical information.

The prescribers vaccine course was set up when we were only allowing access to the COVID course to those that we knew were definitely going to be vaccinating in the very short term. This is because we knew that they were going to be quite a lot of changes as the program developed, things around cold chain and such like contraindications were who can have the vaccine and who can't. So we always anticipated there would be changes.

So we limited the number of people that could rush in and do the training to begin with, but we also wanted to have an avenue for GPs and other prescribers who would be maybe advising their patients in GP practice even if they weren't actually giving the vaccine.

Now the vaccine program has settled down a little bit. We're on to version six now and we will be putting version seven up in the relatively near future just a couple of minor tweaks. We've opened access now to anybody that the buccinator, or anyone that's a prescriber and what we're going to be doing is we're going to be combining those two courses together as well.

So that from August they will just be one course suitable for everybody, because we are anticipating the bulk of people that want to do it now. We will be doing it because they will be involved in vaccination, so it makes sense to give them all the information.

We've also this month set up vaccination training for those that are nonregulated health workers. So we have two courses that have just started, there's the COVID-19 vaccinator working under supervision, these are the staff that are coming through from health care backgrounds, who will be doing online training with us, followed by a face to face practical half day.

And then working alongside experienced vaccinator supervisors in the vaccination center. Their roles will be to administer the COVID vaccine to individuals who have been prescreened to make sure it's safe for them to have the vaccine. And also pre consent is that the full informed consent process will be done, although obviously the COVID-19 vaccinators working under supervision will still gain consent to actually give the vaccine.

And alongside that, we've also set up an immunization support worker education program, now a lot of people may choose to do both of those programs to gather. The support worker program is for those staff that will be supporting conversations around immunization within communities, and also working in the reception area and having conversations.

So a background information conversation information. And then also work, including information on coaching, and we have a separate one hour training program that's available for anyone that wants to do further training in cold chain. So anyone that's taking a lead role within cold chain, that's just being updated to include all the COVID vaccine information, that's available for health care workers or support workers.

And we also have the COVID immunization register access, plus the support workers have access to that part of their course to post vaccine observation just a little bit more information about how they can be a useful member of the team, supporting the trained staff with the post vaccine observation.

So who's completing our education? We've had a quick look through as I said, we nearly headed to 10,000 people to date. And if you look at the blue line at the bottom these are the people that are actually actively giving the vaccines. Now there is a discrepancy, we are aware that there are people who have skilled up ready for the big roll out sitting in the wings which is great to know.

We also know that some of the people that have trained may not be in a position to work full time and may just be planning on working occasional extra shifts and suchlike. So we're very conscious of the fact that we need to train more than the suggested 6,000 to keep the program up and running.

If we look at who's completed the courses to date by ethnicity, we can see that the bulk of them are European and other. And it's a little bit concerning that the Pacifica groups are quite low. So we're doing some targeted work with them at the moment, some extra support training to encourage them to do the training and support them in getting through that we're doing some extra weekend work with Pacifica groups. And also some extra face to face training instead of our normal online, so it would be supplementing the online training.

And it seems to be being well received, we've got lots of names on the list. So I'm very confident that next time we show the figures that Pacifica group will be increasing. We're also encouraging more of the Maori providers to work alongside us and supporting them in any way we can to encourage their staff to take up the training.

Look at the areas that where the training is taking place, you can see this a reasonably split as we would expect considering the demands of the population. And of course, there are a few people that have a national rolls that have done the training.

The bulk of the staff that are training are nurses and nurse practitioners, we have had doctors complete the training and we do encourage medical staff to do the training. You could just go on and do the COVID module, as I mentioned before.

We've got pharmacists and the interns, we've also had some pharmacy technicians who would be working as part of the nonregulated workforce. Then we've got students, medical students, nursing students enrolled nurses some midwives and a selection of other staff. We have opened the training up now to a range of staff from dietitians through to dental technicians to optometrists. So lots of different professions that can come forward and do the training with us.

So the other role we have as well as training is obviously to keep up to date to keep clinical information cascading out correctly. And just in the last month on our website we've updated the following resources, so there's a new fact sheet around vaccination in pregnancy promoting the vaccine now for all pregnant people. We've updated the national cold chain standards included an appendix on COVID vaccine information about youth.

Also we've updated cold chain, we've updated guidelines on supporting the administration of the mRNA vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine, around use of longer needles for larger people in a bit more detail on topics that like positioning, we've seen on the reports coming in of people not vaccinating in the right place some of them are too high. So we're reiterating some of those practical things in that resource.

We've also been doing quite a lot of work about adverse events following immunization, so we've got two guidance sheets now about those whether they are occurring early onset AEFI how to manage them and also for those that are late onset.

We've updated the screening form to give our staff at the vaccinations to give the people at the vaccination center more clear guidance about who they can and who they can't vaccinate, so they don't feel the need to necessarily call us. We're always happy to have their questions coming through, but we're also keen to give them the tools that they know with confidence that they can go ahead and vaccinate.

So this tool clearly has the questions they should be asking on one site, and then information as to what to do depending on the responses that the clients give them when they come for vaccination. We've updated this little diagram on the site here, this is the new guidance around cold chain and cold chain storage and the fact that the vaccine is now able to be kept in frigid conditions for 31 days, which is great.

And we've just been including updating the core training to include these resources, the cold chain training has been updated. The COVID vaccine training as if they were on version six, and were at the moment looking at some of the clinical issues around syringes and needles not fitting together. There's been problems with the two Vernacare brands of needles and syringes. I'm sure any of you that are working on site will have heard about this.

We've been working closely with the ministry, trialing different solutions having staff out on site trying to work out what's happening. And the new guidance coming out from the ministry should have already come out now to say, don't use the two Vernacare products together use either the Vernacare syringes with a BD needle or use the Vernacare LDF needles with a BD syringe if you've got them. And new supplies are being ordered to allow this to continue, so that we don't use the two products together.

As I mentioned before the pregnancy guidance has been updated, so we're doing training around that. We've included information in this new screening tool about reminding people about the importance of minimum gaps of 21 days and also the age restrictions. New guidance around use of vaccines for those on anticoagulants basically saying it's absolutely fine, but Just use extra pressure afterwards.

And information same with Pfizer the vaccine. Yes we're continuing to recommend people face it with couple of weeks between flu vaccines and other vaccines and Pfizer or four weeks with live vaccines. But we're also saying, if they've turned up at the vaccination center and they've had a vaccine in less than two weeks, it's fine to go ahead and give the Pfizer vaccine rather than rearranging the appointment.

So all of that's out in the screening guidance, which we're hoping people will have printed out and available to their vaccinators at all time. We're producing new information at the moment, which I'm hoping will be out by the end of this week around the challenges with the facts in preparation and the Vernacare syringes and needles, but also including more information around the importance of infection prevention.

We've seen some stretching of rules salines sitting on desks open, where it could get contaminated by dust and suchlike, so reminding people it's one use only should be used immediately. We've seen syringes and needles prepared well in advance and then left in dusty boxes, that we're reminding them that syringes and needles must be prepared at the time that the vaccines needed. And a few other things like that just tightening up the rules making it clear, so everyone knows exactly what the expectations are.

So lastly just to finish off please, well, join us for our upcoming webinar. We're going to have a couple of recorded ones on our website as well around anaphylaxis and current issues that have recently updated. Practical issues for anyone that started the vaccination training, a little while ago just a quick summary of what's changed since the course first started. So these three are the ones that are coming up in the very near future.

So COVID education and refreshers as I mentioned updating everyone on what's happening. The mRNA vaccine safety, the myocarditis signal and then also the vaccine-- and more information around the COVID vaccinations working under supervision. For those three ones I hope you can join us for, and if not we certainly will be recording them on our website, so hopefully you'll be able to listen to them.

I think that's me done, so I can come off sharing my slides.

Jane that's fantastic, what a rick lot of information. But there is a question that came through to us and I'm not sure whether you or Loretta are in a position to be able to answer. And it's about the decision making framework, and so I'm not sure whether that's the newer guys [INAUDIBLE] not. Be good to find out more about how vaccinators have been trained and updated around supporting to support it--

Right. Yep I meant to mention that one so apologies if I forgot. We have got it on our website now, we've got a new tool to remind our vaccinators educate, our vaccinators on the decision making process for those with disabilities and extra needs.

And we're also incorporating some of the key messages into our core COVID vaccination training as well. So definitely lovely resource that we're very happy to host and we will be promoting it through our training and also including key messages for it.

And I can just add that, we are also just working with the ministry team at the moment. It is a really useful tool in having looked at it, it's actually very useful as a refresher for all health care professionals to be able to type across a large number of people that we are working with, or people you know particularly when they're coming into seatings, that they might not be comfortable and particularly large vaccination.

So we are just working on a webinar going to do this alongside the ministry team, and hopefully we will we're planning for this about the second week of August. So we'll make sure that it's out for people, so that tool can also be promoted in a little bit more understanding around the tool.

The other one we're putting on our website that I meant to mention as well Loretta, is around needle phobia we're just finishing our resources around that as well. So how to support people with needle phobia.

Excellent. Thanks guys. But I can't see any questions coming up. So I could make a wild assumption that you've nailed everything [INAUDIBLE] having knocked around health services for a few years now. I'm aware that often my assumptions are well wide of the mark, so give people a few minutes. If I was just I've got to mention this at the start everybody, but if you have got questions, if you just talk them in and then I will try and compare those through later.

So again, I just to thank you Jane and Loretta for the information, you've given us has been very helpful and very valuable thanks very much. Now, I'm going to invite my good friend Lindsay [INAUDIBLE] a long history of engagement. And he's been engaging with the ports and border agencies in places like Lindsay the speakers on here, you don't have to worry about that can you speak to that. So I'll end up to you.

Kia ora and good morning, everyone. So for the last couple of weeks we've known that there's going to be an Amendment to the vaccination border order and then Amendment there was an element of making it compulsory, if you are a border or port worker that you need to be vaccinated.

So any basically anyone who has to be regularly tested by the acronym as the BWT, which is the border worker testing order, that means that you now have to be vaccinated under the new order. And you have a little bit of a leap period and you have until the 30th of September. So as you can imagine, we did some numbers in the ministry and ministers loves numbers. And so we tried to say what is that vaccination rates for ports and order?

Now the distinction there is border includes everything like air and ports is very much the same. So we found out very quickly, that we have had really good uptake on the inside, but not so good on the port side. You may have seen some media reports around 50% of port workers vaccinated, that number is probably being a bit generous.

So what we've done is we've identified key ports with the lowest rates of vaccine uptake. And we're slowly working its way through them, talking to them about the new order, and trying to make it as easily accessible as possible for port workers to become vaccinated.

So unsurprisingly with visited Auckland and Tauranga, which is our largest port in the country. Today we were at Sydney Airport in Wellington and tomorrow we're in Littleton next week where in Napier. We have to organize North port and Northland. We have some issues and Nelson so we're probably going to go there and we've learned through different unions that we've got some issues and bluff. So it's a pity it's not always a season.


So what we're trying to do is, we want all the major parties in the room. So we're getting our DHBs operational late, that's on the ground in that area. We're getting the regional area lead from the Ministry of Health, we've got myself and my colleague from Maritime New Zealand. So we're facilitating the group and we have all the affected unions in the room, and we have all the affected port companies, including the chief exec of the port that we are discussing at the time.

And so we try and lay it out for them, and for us it's more about how are you going to-- what's the process of getting workers vaccinated? So it's always nice to have a deadline, I found at university and sharpened my mind for essays. And this is certainly a sharpened in the minds of port workers. So I think what we've uncovered is that there have been a large group of port workers, who basically just sit back and wait. Well, it's not compulsory I don't need to do it.

So we've removed that area or added to it. However you see it and we're just focusing on working with the DH base over the next two to three weeks of setting up some pop up vaccination sites at these ports, where people can run for. As you can imagine port workers work 12 hour shifts, when the ship is in, so these vaccination centers are probably going to be around 6:00 to 7:00 in the morning for the night shift ending and affect us 2:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon as well for a separate shift.

No it doesn't just looking at the question maybe, it doesn't include truck drivers. So there's a couple of new things that the nuances haven't actually played out yet because we're still exploring it. So one of the key things is if you come into contact with someone who's been on a foreign vessel for 15 minutes, then you should be covered under the new order and you will have to be vaccinated. So this means, if there's an electrical engineering problem fault with the shift and you call your local Sparky, he will need to be vaccinated to go on to get that boat.

So sorry Louise, I'm getting very distracted looking at your questions. No. No. Again, no. So we have until the 30th of September, we're not talking huge numbers we're talking about 2000 people up and down New Zealand. So we do appreciate that within that 2000, there will be a lot of people who have very valid reasons for not wishing to be vaccinated.

So we're really focused at the beginning on the majority of people, who we know will be compliant we just have to make it as easy as possible for them. And also for their families and their flatmates, so their household contacts they're looking at doing final days, so that we can do that for them.

The conversations that we've had so far, have been challenging at times, but overall really positive. And I have learned so many different excuses for not getting the vaccine, I feel like I'm a walking conspiracy theorist. The best one was from yesterday, where the gentleman told me it makes you sterile. That was a new one on me, so yeah.

Anyway, so that's what we're doing. So we're doing the top six ports, and then we're going to be working its way around the other country's ports looking at how we can facilitate a discussion between the DH base the unions and the ports. That's a really fascinating piece of work and something that the ministry probably hasn't done for a while. On the good news the minister put out a media release yesterday around saliva testing, saying that he hopes that saliva testing will very soon replace all other testing.

So that port workers called the nasal swab, a brain scraped for a reason. And something I hate to have to do every week or two weeks, depending on the shifts, so they're very relieved that we're moving towards saliva testing is the only form of testing. thanks about it.

Righty-ho Thanks, Lindsay, and a couple of questions obviously popped up there and Lindsay's answer those. So again, if there are any more questions, then please drop those into the chat and we can pick those up. But it is not long after half past eleven and the only other thing I didn't touch on before, was the school based issues and the extension was the medisave decision that it was safe to use the vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds.

So that's just the mid-state decision, that then becomes a cabinet decision as to whether they accept that advice and put that into the program. At this stage, we are not aware that cabinet has considered or will be considering it in the very near future. So you may start hearing some noise around your respective areas, but at this point in time there is no provision made or no decision made about vaccinating anyone under the age of 16. So--

It's question comes for IMAC.

So we've got a question for IMAC here, so I'm just going to have you still got Loretta and Jane on board. For the IMAC team, where can I find the list of answers to simple questions likely to be asked when booking? Such as having or delaying the vaccine whilst on antibiotics, or being unwell with any other to moderate illness.

That's where the screening tool I talked about comes into place. So on COVID website under written resources, we've got a list of all the latest resources for screening or if you just type screening into our website search engine, you'll come up with it that way. We've also got a frequently asked questions section as well, which covers a whole range of questions. But the common ones about is it safe to give the vaccine or not? Under specific circumstances are all in that screening tool all in one place

Thanks Jane. Excellent. So hope this answer the question. I'm looking for more questions, so it looks like unless there's a burning question for you, then I'm going to give you the gift of time. I just want to thank the team here, Danielle, Caroline and Isabel for getting us set up and organizing everything, so thanks guys for that.

There's always a team behind the screen, so thanks very much for everything you've done. Look everybody all the best over the next couple of weeks and I do hope that the Joe's therapy works, and will have him back on board in a fortnight time. If not you might have to suffer me yet again. So goodbye everybody and ma te wa.

Join the COVID-19 vaccination teams

We’re seeking interest from those who’d like to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination workforce.

Both paid and volunteer opportunities are available in various locations, and we’re looking for skills from both health and non-health backgrounds.

Read more about joining the workforce
Email: [email protected]

COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR)

The web-based national COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) is up and running. It’s being used by vaccinators to record COVID-19 vaccinations. Once a vaccination has been entered into the CIR, automatic notifications are sent to Patient Management Systems (PMS). 

The CIR is only for COVID-19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations should continue to be recorded on the National Immunisation Register.

Accessing the CIR

Vaccinators need their own individual work email addresses to use CIR. You can’t use a practice-wide email address. This is because important information such as login credentials, password resets and important vaccinator updates are communicated via the email you provide, so a shared email address won’t work.

Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI)

We encourage you to report any AEFI experienced by people who have had the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If it’s within the initial observation period – report this in the COVID-19 Immunisation Register.
  • If it’s any other suspected AEFI – report this using the COVID-19 reporting form on the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) website. You don’t have to be certain that the vaccine caused the event in order to report it.

Medsafe safety reports

Medsafe then closely monitors and releases a safety report showing the AEFI data each week. This shows the most common side effects that people in New Zealand experience after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Medsafe safety reports: Adverse events following immunisation with COVID-19 vaccines

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