Who makes up our workforce
Our vaccinating workforce is made up of general practitioners, nurses, midwives, paramedics, and pharmacists.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional vaccinators were authorised to help rapidly vaccinate Aotearoa against COVID-19. We are now building on the success of that programme by developing a new vaccinating workforce (Vaccinating Health Worker) to support our regular immunisation programme.
There is a range of vaccinating roles that help deliver our immunisation programmes across the motu. Each has different pathways, training and authorisation requirements.
Fully Authorised Vaccinators
Fully Authorised Vaccinators are registered health professionals who have completed full vaccinator training and are authorised by their local medical officer of health. 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:
- Complete your update training
- Have a current Annual Practising Certificate
- Have a valid and relevant CPR certification
To practice in your region, please apply to your local Medical Officer of Health for authorisation. Check the list of Public health contacts to find your region’s contacts.
Pharmacists are able to vaccinate under the Medicines Regulations when they have completed full vaccinator training and a clinical assessment. We recommend they inform the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand once they have completed the training and assessment requirements.
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:
- Clinical assessment
- Current Annual Practising Certificate
- Valid and relevant CPR Certification
- All training courses, including biennial Vaccinator Update Course
Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators
Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators (PPVs) are registered Pharmacists, Pharmacist interns or fourth-year pharmacy students who have completed vaccination training and received provisional authorisation. They can administer Influenza vaccines (three* years and older), and MMR vaccine (16 years to 50 years). They can also administer COVID-19 vaccines if they provide evidence to their employer showing they have completed the required training.
All current Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinators are authorised for two years from the date of the authorisation letter.
Please note that the Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinator learning pathway is no longer available. The last day to apply for authorisation was 30 September 2022.
*If you are a Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinator, you are authorised to administer Influenza vaccines to people aged 3 years and older if:
- you were authorised after 19 April 2022, or
- You were authorised prior to 19 April 2022 and have since applied for reauthorisation.
Otherwise, you are only authorised to administer Influenza vaccines to people aged 13 years and older.
Provisional Vaccinators are registered health professionals, third year nursing students and enrolled nurses who have completed vaccination training and received provisional authorisation.
If you are a Provisional Vaccinator, you can administer influenza and MMR vaccines to people aged three years and older. You can also administer COVID-19 vaccines if you provide your employer with evidence showing that you have completed the required training.
All current Provisional Vaccinators are authorised for two years from the date of the authorisation letter.
Please note that the provisional vaccinator learning pathway is no longer available. The last day to apply for authorisation was 30 September 2022.
Vaccinating Health Worker
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 helped provide more opportunities for more Māori and Pasifika vaccinators to help their communities.
The CVWUS role was only intended to be a temporary measure however, following sector consultation at the start of 2022, we have now established a Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) role, which builds on the success of the CVWUS role, expanding it to cover a broader range of vaccines and age groups in the future.
Vaccinating Health Worker 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 people aged 12 years and older. You will also be able to administer vaccines for Human Papillomavirus (HPV9) and Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap) for people aged 11 years and older.
You must have experience as a VHW Stage 1 before being nominated by your employer to apply for VHW Stage 2 training. Your employer needs to confirm that you have completed the Stage 1 Workbook as evidence of your experience, which includes administering a minimum of 25 vaccines over an 8 week period.
Stage 2: You will be able to prepare and administer all vaccines outlined in Stage 1, including administering COVID-19 (Pfizer), Influenza and MMR to people aged five years and older.
You must be authorised by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand at each stage.
Who can become a Vaccinating Health Worker?
If you are currently working in or are interested in working 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 New Zealand practising certificate, you can enter the learning pathway to become a VHW.
Vaccinating Health Worker training programme
The training covers core healthcare learning topics (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:
A range of core learning topics are mainly provided during the beginning of your employment as a health care worker. It is the employer’s responsibility to either deliver this core learning or enable access to it.
Core learning topics include:
- Health information /health literacy.
- Health and safety, personal protection equipment (PPE), and infection prevention and control (IPC)
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi, cultural awareness, and engaging effectively with Māori
- Working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- Working with people with disabilities
- Working with people experiencing mental health and addition needs
- Communicating and interpersonal relationships.
Training on privacy and health information/health literacy must be completed prior to attending the practical face-to-face workshop.
Links to some online training modules that will support the core learning requirements are available below.
Employers will also ensure their employee(s) complete CPR training and it is recommended that they complete training on the Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR training module is available on the IMAC Learning Management System (LMS).
The Stage 1 courses are available from the IMAC LMS and are free. To access the courses, log into the IMAC LMS and register for each course. On completion of the online learning courses, the employer needs to register their employee(s) to access the face-to-face practical workshop through IMAC.
The vaccine-specific training includes:
- A series of online courses at each stage.
- Face-to-face practical workshop at each stage
- Observation and assessments in the workplace under the guidance of an authorised vaccinator with a minimum of six months vaccinating experience.
The online courses can be delivered in a group setting, using the online content, or as a face-to-face workshop facilitated by IMAC. Please contact your local IMAC team member to explore this option.
Once you have completed the training, been authorised for Stage 1 in 4 vaccines, and have completed the workbook, the employer can then register their VHW into the Stage 2 pathway by contacting IMAC.
VHW Clinical Supervisor training
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, Provisional Vaccinator, or Pharmacist 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 LMS portal and is free. To access the course, just log in to the IMAC LMS and register for the course.
Authorisation takes place at various points during VHW training. Authorisation is valid for two years from the date on your authorisation letter. To maintain VHW authorisation you must meet the requirements in the Immunisation Handbook 2020, including any update training required (if it has been more than two years since authorisation) and holding a valid and relevant CPR certification.
In the VHW resources below there is a link that outlines which documents or information you need to provide when applying for authorisation.
If you are applying to be a VHW, you will need to apply for authorisation with Te Whatu Ora — Health New Zealand.
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:
Vaccinating Health Worker: Capability Matrix
Becoming a Vaccinating Health Worker
Information for Vaccinating Health Worker Clinical Supervisors
Core learning Training options
VHW Authorisation Requirements
VHW Learning Pathways
Information for employers
Information for Employers new to the Vaccinating Health Worker role
The fine print
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@example.com.
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. Visit My Health Account copyright for more information.