Changes in tuberculosis legislation

The Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 repealed the Tuberculosis Act 1948 and the Tuberculosis Regulations 1951. From 4 January 2017:

  • tuberculosis is notifiable under the Health Act 1956 instead of the Tuberculosis Act 1948
  • the requirements under the Tuberculosis Regulations 1951 to gazette approved BCG vaccinators no longer apply
  • all new BCG vaccinators are required to become authorised vaccinators under clauses 44A(1) and 44A(2) of the Medicines Regulations 1984 and then seek endorsement as a BCG vaccinator from their local Medical Officer of Health
  • all existing gazetted BCG vaccinators were given an initial national BCG vaccinator endorsement by the Ministry of Health for a two-year period until 4 January 2019, after which they are required to seek regional BCG vaccinator endorsement from their local Medical Officer of Health.

Access to BCG vaccine

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is only available through local District Health Board (DHB) BCG vaccination programmes, to babies and children aged 0–5 that meet the following eligibility criteria (as per the PHARMAC Schedule):  

  • they will be living in a house or family/whānau with a person with either current TB or a history of TB
  • they have one or both parents or household members or carers who, within the last 5 years, lived for a period of 6 months or longer in countries with a TB rate ≥ 40 per 100,000 (see current list)
  • during their first 5 years they will be living for 3 months or longer in a country with a TB rate ≥ 40 per 100,000.

Babies under 6 months of age that meet the above eligibility criteria are considered highest priority and midwives should screen babies for referral to local DHB BCG vaccination clinics. 

Children aged between 6 months and 5 years may need to have a tuberculin skin test in the first instance to detect whether they have already been infected with TB.

From 2015 to 2018 there was a global shortage of BCG vaccine. Parents or caregivers of older children who met the eligibility criteria over the period the vaccine was unavailable may request BCG vaccination for such children, for assessment on a case-by-case basis.  

Ordering BCG vaccine

The vaccine is available for order through ProPharma by authorised DHB BCG vaccination clinics only. The vaccine comes in a box of 10 vials each containing 10 doses, so please minimise wastage by planning vaccination clinics accordingly.

Renewal of BCG vaccinator endorsement

Renewal of BCG vaccinator endorsement

To renew BCG endorsement, vaccinators must apply to their local Medical Officer of Health prior to the expiry date and provide documented evidence that they:

  • are a current authorised vaccinator, and
  • have completed an online vaccination course that includes an update on BCG*.

*NOTE: this course will be available as part of IMAC education and you will be able to choose an Immunisation Update that includes BCG. If you have any questions, please email

BCG Vaccinator practising in another region, or ceasing practice

BCG Vaccinator practising in another region, or ceasing practice

BCG-endorsed authorised vaccinators are approved regionally by Medical Officers of Health and must notify their Medical Officer of Health if ceasing practice or no longer practising in the region. Individuals wishing to practise in another region must be approved beforehand by the Medical Officer of Health, and provide the new local Medical Officer of Health with:

  • evidence of their current vaccinator authorisation and BCG endorsement in another health district, and
  • details of their proposed work in the district.

Register of BCG vaccinators

Register of BCG vaccinators

Please note the Ministry of Health's previous register of gazetted BCG vaccinators was retired on 4 January 2019 as it was no longer applicable under the new legislation. 

Any new or previously-gazetted BCG vaccinators are confirmed as BCG-endorsed vaccinators by their Medical Officer of Health, who will maintain records locally. No further notification is required to the Ministry of Health.

Additional information

For further information on tuberculosis disease, BCG vaccine or becoming a BCG-endorsed vaccinator, please contact your local Medical Officer of Health or the appropriate regional Public Health Unit, or refer to the following publications: