Immunisation guidance and resources

Immunisation handbook

Immunisation handbook

The Immunisation Handbook 2020 has a specific chapter about COVID-19 vaccines, including detailed clinical guidance.

The handbook provides clinical guidelines for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice.

These guidelines are based on the best scientific evidence available at the time of publication, from published and unpublished literature.

Read the Immunisation Handbook 2020

Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)

Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) has been contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide education, training and support to all health professionals administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information, visit the IMAC website or call 0800 IMMUNE. 

Medsafe vaccine approval and data

Medsafe vaccine approval and data

Ka Mātau, Ka Ora Study

Ka Mātau, Ka Ora Study

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, funded the Ka Mātau, Ka Ora study by the Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand. The study is assessing the efficacy of the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine in the New Zealand population, with a particular focus on Māori and Pacific Peoples. The findings of the first part of the study can be found here:

Āwhina app for vaccine updates

The Āwhina app puts tailored COVID-19 information in the hands of health workers.

We’re using the app to alert vaccinators and their supports to clinical, critical or time-sensitive updates. The app allows us to send immediate push notifications to vaccinators and supports.

Anyone can download Āwhina. It will be particularly useful for vaccinators, practice managers or anyone involved in the vaccination programme.

Find out more and download Āwhina

COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR)

The web-based national COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) is up and running. It’s being used by vaccinators to record COVID-19 vaccinations. Once a vaccination has been entered into the CIR, automatic notifications are sent to Patient Management Systems (PMS).

The CIR is only for COVID-19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations should continue to be recorded on the National Immunisation Register.

Accessing the CIR

Vaccinators need their own individual work email addresses to use CIR. You can’t use a practice-wide email address. This is because important information such as login credentials, password resets and important vaccinator updates are communicated via the email you provide, so a shared email address won’t work.

Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI)

We encourage you to report any AEFI experienced by people who have had the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If it’s within the initial observation period – report this in the COVID-19 Immunisation Register.
  • If it’s any other suspected AEFI – report this using the COVID-19 reporting form on the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) website. You don’t have to be certain that the vaccine caused the event in order to report it.

Medsafe safety reports

Medsafe then closely monitors and releases a safety report showing the AEFI data each week. This shows the most common side effects that people in New Zealand experience after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Medsafe safety reports: Adverse events following immunisation with COVID-19 vaccines


The Ministry of Health enters into data sharing agreements to support the efforts of local and community-based trusted providers who are a critical part of efforts to lift vaccination rates and best placed to understand the needs of their communities.

Datasharing of information about 5-11 year old vaccinations

Datasharing of information about 5-11 year old vaccinations

The Ministry of Health will release vaccination data to requesting organisations down to mesh block street level for tamariki Māori (and any other ethnicities as requested) who have not had a first vaccination or have not received a second dose more than nine weeks after their first dose.

Requests from all providers are managed through a formal data sharing agreement. This provides:

  • an agreed framework and process for how the information is to be used and managed
  • how people’s privacy will be appropriately protected.

These agreements will still allow the appropriate protection of individual children’s personal health and contact information, while at the same giving providers a sufficiently detailed picture of particular areas of low vaccination that need more targeted support to help protect children and whanau from Covid-19.

Parents/guardians of children aged 5-11 can contact the Ministry of Health to request no vaccination data sharing with any providers. This can be done using or 0800 855 066, option 7 (this takes you to the Ministry General Line).

If you contact please include the full name, date of birth and NHI number for each child you wish make a request for.

Datasharing of information about 12+ vaccinations

Datasharing of information about 12+ vaccinations

The Ministry of Health already shares the following personal and vaccination information to support the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine programme for those aged 12 years and over:

  • aggregated data on the Ministry website – this gives a high-level view about our communities - including by suburb and ethnicity.
  • data with authorised providers at identifiable person level - for clinical and administrative use so they can do outreach, booking and vaccination work.
  • low level geospatial data with providers as agreed on a case by case basis. This would give them small neighbourhood views of where say 50 people live and the vaccination percentage for that area. It helps providers work out where to put “on the ground” teams
  • Operating and planning guidelines

    Guidance on establishing and managing a COVID-19 vaccination site, including guidelines for the vaccination workforce and how to provide a clinically safe and quality vaccination service. Read more
  • Strategy, planning & insights

    How we’re supporting the vaccine rollout and who we’re working with, the COVID-19 vaccines we’ve purchased, and insight into New Zealand’s attitude towards the vaccine. Read more