As a COVID-19 vaccinator, you play a vital role in New Zealand’s COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy. Your engagement with people before, during and after their vaccination experience is central to the success of the strategy. On this page we provide a brief overview of the main tasks of a COVID-19 vaccinator.

Vaccine screening and guidance

Most people attending vaccination clinics will have already received an information letter and have some background information on the vaccine. Part of your role as a vaccinator is to ensure informed consent and that the patient fully understands risks and benefits of this medicine.

Effective screening involves a four-step process:

  1. Establishing prior knowledge
  2. Filling in the information gaps
  3. Completing the screening tool
  4. Gaining/recording informed consent

The Immunisation Advisory Centre has developed a comprehensive tool containing screening questions and corresponding rationale:

This tool ensures the safety of the vaccinee and protects the safe practice of the vaccinator.

Vaccine preparation and administration

The Comirnaty vaccine requires dilution and drawing up into individual dose syringes. Every vaccination clinic will differ in how they are set up for this process depending on their individual requirements. Every vaccination location must ensure safety around additional observation of the preparation process and recording the details.

As with all vaccination events, there are necessary equipment and standards of infection control. Space is required to provide privacy for screening, administration and monitoring post vaccination.

More information on this can be found here:

Instructions for Pfizer BioNTech vaccine preparation and administration

Each vial contains 0.45ml of vaccine and requires dilution with 1.8 ml of 0.9% NaCl (saline). These are multidose vials. Each diluted vial contains up to six doses.

Each 0.3 ml dose is administered by intramuscular injection into the deltoid muscle.

Sharing information with vaccinees about the vaccine

Here in New Zealand we have been very fortunate to have had a low number of COVID-19 cases compared to many other countries that have seen thousands of deaths daily. This has been the result of a huge effort by all of Aotearoa to protect its people.

As health professionals you are responsible for communicating clearly the factual benefits and risks of vaccination. Health professionals are tasked to listen and respect genuine concerns, demonstrate active listening and develop trust of the public, and liaise with well-placed leaders to communicate accurate and relevant information to our whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori and Pasifika communities.

As the information about COVID-19 disease and vaccine changes frequently, it is very important that you stay up-to-date. If you haven’t already, please sign up to our newsletter, which will provide one important avenue to stay informed.