COVID-19: Expanding the vaccinator workforce

We’re planning for an extra 1,600 full-time equivalent vaccinators to help with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Last updated: 10 September 2021

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Scaling up the workforce

Outside our regular vaccination workforce of general practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists – we’re planning for an extra 1,600 full-time equivalent vaccinators. They’ll be trained and available when needed throughout New Zealand.

The workforce will continue to scale up during 2021 in line with vaccine delivery schedules.


Recruitment and training

We’re working with other partners across the health and disability system to engage additional vaccinator capacity across New Zealand. DHBs assessed their capacity and have told us they need more vaccinators within their regions to safely and effectively deliver the COVID-19 vaccination and immunisation programme.

Vaccinators can be sourced from:

  • medical students
  • nursing students
  • anaesthetic technicians
  • dentists
  • doctors
  • enrolled nurses
  • medical imaging/radiation therapists
  • medical laboratory scientists
  • midwives
  • nurse practitioners
  • nurses
  • occupational therapists
  • optometrists
  • paramedics
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • speech language therapists
  • from other healthcare settings as explained below.

Vaccinators working under supervision

As of 28 May 2021, vaccinators can also be sourced from people who have worked in other healthcare settings, for example:

  • kaiāwhina
  • kaiārahi
  • kaimanaaki
  • pharmacy technicians
  • clinicians who have trained overseas but are not registered in New Zealand, or who were trained in New Zealand but no longer practice (and do not currently hold a practising certificate).

These COVID-19 vaccinators will:

  • be part of a team of vaccinators
  • work with limited scope under the supervision and direction of a qualified and experienced health practitioner (typically an authorised vaccinator)
  • administer the vaccine to triaged people with low risk of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine
  • observe people post-vaccination
  • support administration and data entry tasks.

This new workforce of COVID-19 vaccinators will not:

  • be responsible for obtaining informed consent from consumers
  • vaccinate people with a high risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine
  • lead any adverse event interventions
  • prepare (draw up and dilute) the vaccine.

Resources about vaccinators working under supervision

Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator

Type: Information sheet
Audience: Health providers
Published: June 2021
Description: What training you'll need to become a vaccinator, and other common questions

Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator (PDF, 114 KB)
Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator – Te Reo version (PDF, 76 KB)
Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator (Word, 145 KB)
COVID-19 vaccinator authorisation application form (PDF, 145KB)

Become a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Supervisor

Type: Information sheet
Audience: Health providers
Published: June 2021
Description: Who can become a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Supervisor, and other common questions

Become a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Supervisor (PDF, 116 KB)
Become a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Supervisor – Te Reo version (PDF, 82 KB)
Become a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Supervisor (Word, 146 KB)

Information for employers of COVID-19 Vaccinators

Type: Information sheet
Audience: Health providers
Published: June 2021
Description: What you need to know if you employ COVID-19 vaccinators

Information for employers of vaccinators (PDF, 131KB)
Information for employers of vaccinators (Word, 102KB)

Training and authorisation pathway for COVID-19 Vaccinators

Type: Information sheet
Audience: Health providers
Published: June 2021
Description: The modules/courses to complete to become a COVID-19 Vaccinator

Training and authorisation pathway for vaccinators (PDF, 88KB)


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


COVID-19 vaccine training

The Immunisation Advisory Centre provides training on the COVID-19 vaccines. This began in February 2021 and is available online as well as face-to-face, across the country.

Immunisation Advisory Centre

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