What happens if my job changes and I want to administer other vaccines after I have completed the Provisional Vaccinator Foundation Course?

You need to complete a full Vaccinator Foundation Course and meet the requirements of an authorised vaccinator or pharmacist vaccinator to administer other vaccines.

If, after June 2022 you wish to continue vaccinating, there will be a VFC specifically designed for you to become a fully authorised vaccinator or pharmacist vaccinator. This course will be available from November 2021 until the end of 2023.

Do pharmacists need to apply for provisional authorisation following the Provisional Vaccinator Foundation Course?

Yes. As they have not completed the full requirements to be a pharmacist vaccinator,

they are required to be authorised to give influenza and MMR vaccine. If a pharmacist wants to give the full scope of pharmacy vaccines, they will have to complete a full Vaccinator Foundation Course (VFC) and process.

Do I need a CPR certificate to become a provisionally authorised vaccinator?

You need an appropriate CPR certificate to apply for provisional authorisation. If you do not hold a current CPR certificate, you need to enrol and complete an appropriate CPR course as soon as practically possible. Currently appropriate CPR certificates that are less than 12 months expired are being accepted.

Appendix 4 of the Immunisation Handbook outlines the requirements of CPR courses for vaccinators. A range of providers offer courses (eg, internet search CPR courses for vaccinators). Check with the course provider that the course they are offering includes the following:

  • infant, child and adult CPR, including mouth-to-mouth, mouth-to-mask and the management of choking
  • administration of IM adrenaline for treatment of anaphylaxis
  • use of an automated external defibrillator
  • one- and two-person bag valve mask ventilation and mouth-to-mask technique.

It is the vaccinator’s responsibility to ensure that these core components are covered. Employers may require a higher level of CPR and more frequent updates than is necessary as a vaccinator. You can obtain your CPR certificate before or after completing your online assessment but need the CPR certification before submitting your authorisation application.

How do I apply for my provisional authorisation?

You need to complete the online course, online assessment and peer assessment. Complete the Provisional Authorisation application form and email, along with the necessary documentation including your completed peer assessment form, to the IMAC Education Office PVFC registrations ([email protected]). Once approved, the office will email you a letter of authorisation.

You must send a copy of your peer assessment and letter of authorisation to your local immunisation coordinator. Your local immunisation coordinator’s details are found on the IMAC website (immune.org.nz) under ‘Regional advisors and local coordinators’. It is recommended that all provisionally authorised vaccinators work as part of a vaccination team, that includes experienced authorised or pharmacist vaccinators.

How long does provisional authorisation via the Provisional Vaccinator Foundation Course last for?

Your provisional authorisation will expire on 30 June 2022.

To continue vaccinating after your provisional authorisation has expired, you will need to complete a specific IMAC bridging course, complete a clinical assessment by an immunisation coordinator and apply for authorisation from the Medical Officer of Health, or let PSNZ know if you are a pharmacist. The bridging course will have limited number of places and only be available for those vaccinators who will be delivering national immunisation schedule vaccines. IMAC will be working with the Ministry of Health and the DHBs regarding access to those places.

Do I have to be authorised by a Medical Officer of Health to complete the Provisional Vaccinator Foundation Course?

No, instead of Medical Officer of Health sign-off, provisional vaccinators are being authorised nationally by the Director of Public Health.

Once you have completed all the requirements and sent through your application for authorisation, IMAC will review the details and send you an authorisation letter.

What will provisional authorisation via the Provisional Vaccination Foundation Course cover?

Once you have met all the necessary criteria and received your authorisation letter from IMAC, you will have provisional authorisation to administer influenza and MMR vaccines to those aged 3 years and older.

Pharmacists are currently restricted to vaccinating those 13 years and above for influenza (funded and unfunded) and those aged 16–50 years for MMR.

The provisional authorisation allows you to vaccinate anywhere in New Zealand. Your provisional authorisation will expire on 30 June 2022. It is recommended that all provisionally authorised vaccinators work as part of a vaccination team, that includes experienced authorised or pharmacist vaccinators.

How long is the Provisional Vaccinator Foundation course available for?

IMAC is offering this course through to end of Dec 2021*.

*Once your registration has been accepted you will be provided with a package code. This needs to be entered into IMAC Learning before 1st December. Once entered, the course is available for completion up until 31st December 2021.

What if I have already done a vaccinator course and want to become a COVID-19 vaccinator?

If you have completed a Vaccinator Foundation Course (VFC) in the last five years, but did not do a clinical assessment, or have let your vaccinator status lapse by not completing the required 2-yearly updates, please contact your local immunisation coordinator to discuss the requirements to renew or achieve vaccinator status (either as a pharmacist or authorised vaccinator).

You do not need to do the PVFC and will be referred to the most appropriate course for your area of work.