Vaccinating workforce

To help support our immunisation programmes, we are developing our vaccinating workforce to keep New Zealanders safe and well.

Our vaccinating workforce is made up of general practitioners, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional vaccinators were authorised to help rapidly vaccinate Aotearoa against COVID-19.

Building on the success of that programme, we have developed new vaccinating roles to support our regular vaccination programmes.

Vaccinating roles

There are a range of vaccinating roles that help deliver our immunisation programmes across the motu. Each have different pathways, training and authorisation requirements.

Fully Authorised Vaccinators

Fully Authorised Vaccinators are registered health professionals who have completed full vaccinator training and received authorisation. They can deliver vaccines listed on the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule and any other vaccines that are part of an approved immunisation programme to all eligible age groups.

If you are a Fully Authorised Vaccinator, to maintain your authorisation you must adhere to the requirements in the Immunisation Handbook 2020, including:

  1. Complete your update training
  2. Have a current Annual Practising Certificate
  3. Have a valid and relevant CPR certification 

To practice in your region, please apply to your local Medical Officer of Health for authorisation. Go to Public health contacts to find your region’s contacts.

Pharmacist Vaccinators

Pharmacists are able to vaccinate under the Medicines Regulations after completing full vaccinator training. We recommend they then inform the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand to be added to their vaccinator database.

If you are a Pharmacist Vaccinator, you must maintain all documentation and evidence that demonstrates you meet the Ministry’s Immunisation Standards for Vaccinators, as outlined in the Immunisation Handbook. This includes evidence of your:

  1. Clinical assessment
  2. Current Annual Practising Certificate
  3. Valid and relevant CPR Certification
  4. All training courses, including biennial Vaccinator Update Course

Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators

Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators are registered Pharmacists, Pharmacist interns or fourth year pharmacy students who have completed training and received provisional authorisation. They can administer Influenza vaccines (3 years and older) and MMR (16 years and older) vaccines, plus COVID-19 vaccines if they can show they have completed the required training.

All current PPVs are authorised for two years from the date of their authorisation letter.

The provisional pharmacist vaccinator learning pathway will no longer be available from 1 September 2022. The last day for applying for authorisation is 30 September 2022.

Administering Influenza vaccines

Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators who were authorised after 19 April 2022 are authorised to administer Influenza vaccines to people aged 3 years and older.

Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators authorised before 19 April 2022 need to reapply for authorisation under regulation 44A of the Medicines Regulations 1984 to enable them to administer the influenza vaccine to people aged 3 years and older.

To do this you need to complete the Reauthorisation Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinator Form (pdf, 131 KB) and send it to [email protected]

Provisional Vaccinators

Provisional Vaccinators (PVs) are registered health professionals who have completed their training and received provisional authorisation. They can administer influenza and MMR vaccines, plus COVID-19 vaccines if they provide evidence showing they have completed the required training.

All current PVs are authorised for two years from the date of their authorisation letter.

The provisional vaccinator learning pathway will no longer be available from 1 September 2022. The last day for applying for authorisation is 30 September 2022.

Training package codes

Package codes have been created for every health provider/employer who can then share the package code with the learners they wish to support through the provisional vaccinator pathway.

If you are eligible for this training and interested in taking up the opportunity, you should ask your employer or the provider you intend to work for the package code. As an individual, please do not contact IMAC directly for a package code.

If you wish to also administer the Paediatric Pfizer vaccine, or Novavax vaccine you must complete the appropriate COVID-19 vaccine education course. See the suite of COVID-19 vaccination courses. All can be freely accessed via Immunisation Advisory Centre’s (IMAC) learning management system (LMS) and without a package code.

PV and PPV authorisations

All current PVs are authorised for two years from the date of their authorisation letter.

To maintain your provisional vaccinator authorisation, you must adhere to the requirements in the Immunisation Handbook 2020, including:

  1. Completing your update training (if it has been more than two years since the date you completed your original PV training course)
  2. Maintaining a current Annual Practising Certificate
  3. Holding a valid and relevant CPR certification 

You can access this training from these IMAC links:

The PV bridging course is now available through IMAC. More information can be found at Vaccinator Bridging Course on the IMAC website.

We strongly encourage Provisional Vaccinators to upskill to become fully authorised vaccinators, to vaccinate across a wider range of vaccine preventable diseases and across the lifespan. The last day for applying for authorisation is 30 September 2022.

Vaccinating Health Worker

Background

During the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, the Ministry of Health established the COVID-19 Vaccinator Working Under Supervision (CVWUS) role.

This allowed healthcare workers such as kaiāwhina, pharmacy technicians, and overseas registered health workers, to deliver COVID-19 vaccines under supervision. This enabled us to vaccinate Aotearoa quickly and effectively, and it also brought in more Māori and Pasifika vaccinators to help their communities. The CVWUS role was only intended to be a temporary measure and finishes 1 June 2023.

Following sector consultation at the start of 2022, we have now established a Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) role, which will build on the success of the CVWUS role, expanding it to cover a broader range of vaccines and age groups in the future.

Who can become a VHW?

You can become a VHW if you currently work in the health sector - for example, as a health care assistant, pharmacy technician or kaiāwhina - or have been trained as a health professional in New Zealand or overseas but do not currently holding hold a NZ practising certificate.

There are two ways to become a VHW:

  1. If you are already an authorised CVWUS, you can transition to become a VHW by undertaking further training.
  2. If you are not already a CVWUS, you can enter the learning pathway to become a VHW. 

VHW programme

There are two stages to the VHW role:

Stage 1: You will be able to administer COVID-19 (Pfizer) and the influenza vaccines for 12 years+ and vaccines for Human Papillomavirus (HPV9) and Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap) for 11 years+.

Stage 2: You will be able to prepare and administer all vaccines outlined in stage 1, including administering COVID-19 (Pfizer) and influenza to 5 years+, and also MMR for 5 years+. 

You need to be authorised by Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand and have gained experience at VHW Stage 1 before being nominated by your employer to apply for VHW Stage 2 training.

VHW training programme

The training covers a range of core learning topics mainly provided by the employer, and vaccine-specific training provided by the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC). An overview of the training for this role is available in the Vaccinating Health Worker: Capability Matrix (pdf, 133 KB).

The vaccine specific training includes:

  • A series of online courses which can be delivered in a group setting, using the online content, or as a face-to-face workshop facilitated by IMAC. Please contact the local IMAC team member to explore this option.
  • Face-to-face practical training sessions at each stage
  • Observation and assessments in the workplace under the guidance of an authorised vaccinator with a minimum of two years vaccinating experience.

Employers need to nominate their employee(s) to access the vaccine specific training through IMAC.

More information on how to access training

Core learning topics include:

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi, cultural awareness, and engaging effectively with Māori
  • Working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Working with people with disabilities
  • Communicating and interpersonal relationships
  • Health and safety, personal protection equipment (PPE), and infection prevention and control (IPC)
  • Ethics, privacy, and mental health
  • Health information /health literacy.

It is the employer’s responsibility to either deliver this core learning or enable access to it, as outlined above. Links to training modules that will support the core learning requirements are available below.

Employers will also ensure their employee(s) complete CPR and COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) training.

Authorisation

Authorisation takes place at various points during VHW training.

In the VHW resources below there is a link that outlines which documents or information you need to provide when applying for authorisation.

Authorisation is valid for two years from authorisation letter. To maintain VHW authorisation you must meet requirements in the Immunisation Handbook including any update training required (if it has been more than two years since authorisation) and holding a valid and relevant CPR certification.

For details on how to apply for authorisation please see the Authorisation section below.

VHW resources

  • Available Core Online Learning Links (coming soon)
  • VHW Learning Pathways (coming soon)
  • VHW Training and Authorisation Pathway (coming soon)

Training available for Clinical Supervisors of Vaccinating Health Workers

It is important that we have experienced and confident registered health professionals providing direct clinical supervision for VHWs. A VHW Clinical Supervisor will:

  • be a New Zealand registered healthcare professional
  • be a fully authorised vaccinator or provisional vaccinator
  • have relevant, recent vaccination experience
  • have been nominated as a suitable candidate to be a supervisor by your employer
  • have completed VHW supervisor training (this is highly recommended).

A VHW Clinical Supervisor must have a full understanding of the scope of the VHW role, their education pathway, and the responsibilities of being a supervisor. 

We strongly recommend you complete the “Course for Supervisors of Vaccinating Health Workers”. This course is available from the IMAC Learning management portal and is free. To access the course, just log in to the IMAC LMS and add the course.

COVID-19 Vaccinators working under supervision (CVWUS)

CVWUS are people who have worked in health care, for example:

  • Kaiāwhina
  • Kaiārahi
  • Kaimanaaki
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Health care assistants
  • 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).

They are authorised to administer the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine only to the age groups covered in the Ministry approved COVID-19 vaccinator training and must be supervised by a qualified and experienced health professional.

Access to this pathway is closed, and the last day for applying for authorisation is 30 September 2022.

Note: The CVWUS role will be disestablished on 1 June 2023. You will not be able to renew your CVWUS authorisation after this date. We are transitioning current authorised CVWUS to the Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) role.

Other helpful links and resources

Applying for vaccinator authorisation

If you are in one of the following vaccinating roles, you will need to apply for authorisation with Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand:

  1. Provisional Vaccinator
  2. Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinator
  3. COVID-19 Vaccinator Working Under Supervision
  4. Vaccinating Health Worker

Our portal allows you to apply online for vaccination authorisation and review your application and its status.

By creating an account, you will be able to sign in securely to apply for authorisation, upload or access your authorisation documentation, and final authorisation letter.

Step by step instructions on how to create an account and apply for authorisation can be accessed in this guide:

Create account/Login

To create a profile to apply for authorisation, please go to the Workforce Requests web portal.

Terms of Use

Terms of Use for the Workforce Requests web portal.

Privacy notice

When you submit an application for vaccinator authorisation, we’ll collect your name, contact information, location, and documentation required for your authorisation. To use the Workforce Request web portal, you must also have a My Health Account at level 1 confidence (a verified email address).

In registering your interest, you agree to your details being reviewed by the vaccination authorisation team within Health New Zealand and used for reporting purposes. We will securely hold and manage the information you provide to us. Only you and our vaccinator authorisation team will be able to view the documents you have uploaded onto the Workforce Request web portal.

For any further questions around the Workforce Request web portal, please email [email protected]

Contact us

Contact us if you need help with the workforce request solution. Our contact centre will be happy to help for any technical issues. If you have any question regarding your authorisation, please contact the administration team via [email protected]

Copyright

Copyright in content on the Workforce Request web portal is owned by either the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Crown or its licensors. See My Health Account copyright for more information.

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