Increasing options for whānau to access childhood immunisations
Two significant changes are proposed to be implemented in early 2024, to increase options for whānau to access free childhood immunisations in their communities:
Remove ordering restrictions on childhood vaccinations for providers
We are working with Pharmac to remove the pharmacy ordering restrictions on funded childhood vaccinations so that all providers can order and claim for these vaccines. It’s anticipated that ordering restrictions will be removed from 1 March 2024.
Increase the vaccinator workforce that can administer childhood immunisations
Pharmacist Vaccinators and other health professionals will be able to upskill to Authorised Vaccinators so they can administer childhood vaccinations. Training is expected to be available in February 2024 and will include a mix of online components and clinical assessments covering communication, vaccine administration and practical considerations for administering to this age range.
Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
Quarterly shingles vaccine email to 65-year-olds
From Monday, 5 February, we’ll be sending a nationwide email communication to 65-year-olds across the motu about being immunised against shingles. The target audience includes eligible people contactable via email who have recently turned 65 (to raise awareness) or are soon to turn 66 (as a reminder).
Shingles vaccination is free only when the consumer is age 65. As long as the consumer receives their first dose when they are 65, their second dose will still be free, even if they get it after they turn 66.
This communication is a regular quarterly email that will reach people as they ‘age-in’ and encourage them to book and receive their two free doses of the vaccine, Shingrix.
Using COVID-19 vaccines during hot weather
A reminder that vaccines must be stored and used within temperatures specified by the manufacturer, to ensure their safety, quality and efficacy.
During the summer, there is an increased risk of temperatures in ambient areas rising above the maximum permissible storage temperature of +25 o C for NUVAXOVID and +30o C for Comirnaty vaccines.
It’s important that you regularly assess the areas in which vaccines may be stored, prepared and administered to identify any preventative measures if ambient temperatures are likely to increase.
You should also monitor temperatures frequently to ensure that they are stable and can use the Ambient Air Temperature Monitoring Record template from IMAC.
Another step you can take is to manage workflows from storage and preparation to administration, to minimise the time the vaccine is outside refrigerator storage and help keep it at the correct temperature.
If you have any questions or concerns about vaccine storage, please contact your Immunisation Coordinator or call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).
Protect against measles
Te Whatu Ora, presents a new video for culturally and linguistically diverse communities (including ethnic, migrants and refugee communities) about the importance of immunising against measles to protect yourself, your family and community.
Measles is a disease that is very contagious and spreads easily among people who are not immunised.
The video (in English) has been created at a time when Aotearoa is at a high risk of a measles outbreak. People are travelling more and there’s greater potential for it to arrive in New Zealand.
Please share this video with your community. It will also be available in Hindi, Chinese and Korean, very soon.
We also have free downloadable and printable collateral in our Dropbox, and free printed collateral on Bluestar you can order. Links and details for ordering and printing is available below.
Update to the Immunisation Handbook
The Immunisation Handbook is currently being transitioned from the Manatū Hauora website to the new Te Whatu Ora website. Changes cannot be made to the Handbook during this transition period. Please note changes have been made in the following sections as below. These are current and will be included in the Te Whatu Ora version, once published on the website.
- Chapter 4, Immunisation of Special Groups and Chapter 13, Meningococcal.
- Chapter 15, Pertussis.
- Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)
- Appendix 8
- Appendix 4
- Throughout the Handbook - Removed references to National Immunisation Register (NIR) and replaced with Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR).
Please contact 0800 IMMUNE for further clinical advice as required.
Our regular reminders on collateral
Overview of collateral available in Dropbox and Bluestar
We have created a summary document to give you an overview of the kinds of collateral and resources available on Dropbox and Bluestar. The summary document is available here: Dropbox/Bluestar collateral summary.
Collateral in HealthEd
Immunisation resources are also available from HealthEd.
We have added some of our immunisation collateral to HealthEd under the vaccinations and immunisations topic. You can now download the resource PDF directly from the HealthEd website, and printed copies of some resources are available to order through Bluestar.
If you don’t already have a Bluestar login account, please see below on how to sign up.
Collateral in Bluestar
Printed copies of some resources can be ordered for free via the Bluestar portal.
If you’re not already registered, you can register on the Bluestar portal. Below the login details, select ‘Need to Register?’. Complete the online registration form, include your clinic/practice/pharmacy name and your contact details. You will receive an email confirming your registration. Remember to click the button in the email to 'Activate' your registration.
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