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

For some time 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. 

Since it was first developed, the NIR has been modified to record information on some adult vaccines given in general practice and pharmacies. 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 recording adult vaccines given in general practices and pharmacies on the NIR, but not vaccines given 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. 

In 2017 the Ministry developed a web application ‘ImmuniseNow’ to allow pharmacists also to record vaccines to the NIR. In the future this could potentially be extended to other vaccinators.

Because of the large volume of influenza vaccines given each year, the Ministry does not expect 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.

Contact us

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@health.govt.nz