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Southern Vaccine Hub

Nau Mai, Haere Mai. Welcome to our information hub for vaccinators and vaccine clinics in the Southern region.

Stay protected

Thank you for the important role you and your team are playing in the delivery of vaccinations across the community. This is an internal page where you can access the latest advice, resources, news and contacts to assist your vaccinators and clinic leads. Please do not share the content externally. 

You can sign up to receive an email when this page is updated.

Key links:

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Important announcements for clinical leads and staff. 

COVID-19MMRMpoxBoostrixInfluenza

COVID-19

COVID-19 booster promotion – 27 March 2023

From 1 March, a new Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent vaccine became available to eligible New Zealanders as a booster dose.  To ensure those currently eligible for a first or second booster, are made aware of the new booster, a direct communications campaign has been developed that will see email and SMS delivered to approximately 736k individuals.

  • The selected audience will be invited to get a free bivalent booster to get a significant pre-winter boost to their protection from severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.
  • The targeted audience includes all people aged 18+ who have had their 2-dose primary course and are eligible for a first booster, and all those who meet eligibility for a second booster. 
  • Several exclusions (in addition to standard exclusions) have been applied to refine the targeting criteria such as removing anyone contacted about COVID-19 boosters via any direct channel (email, SMS, outreach call or physical letter sent by Te Whatu Ora) in the last 3 months, persons who have received a communication about MMR vaccination in the past month and people who are scheduled to be contacted and offered a free flu jab in early April.
  • The call to action encourages people to visit www.BookMyVaccine.nz or www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination, call Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week), or contact their GP, pharmacy or healthcare provider.
New Immunisation website – 27 March 2023

We're pleased to let you know the new immunisation website – https://www.immunise.health.nz/ –is now live. This has been a real team effort with many partners, providers and stakeholders involved in getting us to this point.

This new Te Whatu Ora website has been developed to meet a critical gap in the information currently available online to whānau when making decisions about immunisations for their tamariki, rangatahi and themselves. It will also be a key component of a wider programme of focused communications to support our goal to increase childhood immunisation getting underway in April.

Although the site has a child immunisation focus – the content has been written to cover wider whānau immunisations too.
We hope the site feels relevant to all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand - and is warm, friendly, reassuring, and easy to understand.

A new tool we’re particularly excited about is the ability to create a personalised immunisation schedule for a child: https://www.immunise.health.nz/get-a-personalised-immunisation-schedule/

Please take some time to look around and feedback on anything – whether positive or negative. We’re particularly keen to hear what you think might be missing. This is the first phase and we will continue to build on the foundation it presents.

At the moment we’re sharing the site with the sector in order to gather feedback, and in a couple of weeks, we’ll start to actively drive traffic to the site. We look forward to hearing what you think.

IMAC bridging course pathway – 27 March 2023

The IMAC Vaccinator Bridging Course will end on 30 April 2023.

This course is a temporary pathway for eligible and interested provisionally authorised vaccinators to become fully authorised vaccinators.

People who have completed the course but have not completed the other requirements as outlined in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4 are encouraged to do this and apply to their local Medical Officer of Health for full vaccinator authorisation.

People who are eligible and interested in this course are encouraged to enrol now. For course dates please view IMAC website and register.

Māori and Pacific immunisation providers who wish to organise an in-person 1-day course for their team before 30 April 2023 should contact the below local IMAC education team.

  • Northern - Lisa Box, Northern Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Midlands - Janet Collins, Midlands Senior Immunisation Education Facilitator
  • Central – Shelley Kininmonth, Central Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Southern – Sue Rogers, Southern Regional Immunisation Advisor

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Vaccinator Bridging course, this can be achieved via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, and registered pharmacists, are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

The Provisional Vaccinator Update Course will end on 16 June 2023.

The authorisation certificates issued by Te Whatu Ora or the Ministry of Health to Provisional Authorised Vaccinators are valid for two years (from issue date). Vaccinator training is also valid for two years from the date it is completed. To maintain authorisation status, vaccinator training must be kept current. If training expires before the authorisation end date, Provisional Authorised Vaccinators must complete the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course to continue to vaccinate.

To access this course, please email Te Whatu Ora, Vaccinator Authorisations Team vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz to get the package code to access the online course on IMAC’s learning online platform.

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course or your Provisional Authorised Vaccinator certificate has expired, you can become part of the immunisation workforce via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, registered pharmacists are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

For any enquiries, please email imaceducation@auckland.ac.nz

BMV training – 27 March 2023

Do you need to quickly find out how to use Book My Vaccine? Do you want to ensure you are fully prepared to manage consumer bookings and appointment schedules? If so, join us for a 30-minute webinar on how to use this powerful tool.

During this webinar, we'll cover the top things you need to know to effectively use Book My Vaccine. Our expert team will give you tips and tricks for managing your schedule efficiently, as well as how to customize your settings to best suit your needs. We'll also share some best practices for communicating with consumers and ensuring they have a smooth and stress-free booking and vaccination experience.

If you're ready to take the next step towards a more organized and efficient scheduling process, then this webinar is for you. Register now to reserve your spot, and join us for this informative and engaging event!

Join us for a 30-minute webinar to ensure you are prepared to use Book My Vaccine to manage consumer bookings and appointment schedules. 

Dates and Times

  • Thurs Mar 30, 2023 10:30 AM
  • Thurs Apr 6, 2023 04:30 PM
  • Thurs Apr 13, 2023 06:30 PM

Please register for the series here. Registering will also give you access to the recordings.

Please forward this on to any sites, stakeholders or staff that you feel may benefit from attending this webinar. For additional information on BMV please visit the Te Whatu Ora website.

You can download BMV key messages and reactive QAs here.

Please note, it is likely that your BMV calendar closes on 30th of April. 
If you need assistance extending your calendar to the 30th of June, please phone 0800 223 987 or email help@imms.min.health.nz  
 

Holiday vaccine deliveries – 21 March 2023

Due to public holidays, there will be no vaccine deliveries:

  • from Friday 7th April to Tuesday 11th April inclusive
  • Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th April
  • Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th June

Please ensure if you have a delivery day on any of those days to order sufficient stock the week prior to tide you over.

Unfortunately, grey cap two and five packs have been delayed; we now expect these to be orderable from 30 March for delivery from 3 April.

This is also a timely reminder to check your holiday hours are correctly listed on your healthpoint. If you need help making changes to this, please email helpdesk@healthpoint.co.nz.
 

Provider webinar slides and recording – 21 March 2023

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our provider webinar on Friday, we appreciate it is an incredibly busy time. If you were unable to attend, you can download the slide presentation and recording below. 

Vaccinator Bridging Course, Dunedin 4 April 2023 – 21 March 2023

IMAC will be holding an in-person and online vaccinator bridging course on Tuesday 4 April, 9am to 1pm at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin.

The Provisional Vaccinator Pathway is now closed so once your two years of authorisation has expired, it cannot be renewed. Therefore, if you wish to continue vaccinating ​it is important that you complete a bridging course to become fully authorised. Bridging Training is free until 30 April​.

This Vaccinator Foundation Course – Bridging (VBC) is specifically for provisionally authorised vaccinators who wish to become fully authorised vaccinators or pharmacist vaccinators. It builds on Provisional Vaccinator knowledge and skills, bridging the gap between Provisional and full authorisation.

‍This course will be managed on IMAC’s new learning management system in 2023.  

‍As a provisionally authorised vaccinator, this course will build on your knowledge and skills to enable you to safely and effectively administer vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule, as appropriate within your scope of practice. It is an essential requirement for authorisation or approval as a vaccinator. Prior to attending a 4-hour practical session, you must complete the online learning which will take 10-12 hours.

Eligibility criteria: this course is available to nurses, pharmacists, midwives and prescribers.

Register on the IMAC website.

Course poster

MMR

IMAC bridging course pathway – 27 March 2023

The IMAC Vaccinator Bridging Course will end on 30 April 2023.

This course is a temporary pathway for eligible and interested provisionally authorised vaccinators to become fully authorised vaccinators.

People who have completed the course but have not completed the other requirements as outlined in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4 are encouraged to do this and apply to their local Medical Officer of Health for full vaccinator authorisation.

People who are eligible and interested in this course are encouraged to enrol now. For course dates please view IMAC website and register.

Māori and Pacific immunisation providers who wish to organise an in-person 1-day course for their team before 30 April 2023 should contact the below local IMAC education team.

  • Northern - Lisa Box, Northern Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Midlands - Janet Collins, Midlands Senior Immunisation Education Facilitator
  • Central – Shelley Kininmonth, Central Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Southern – Sue Rogers, Southern Regional Immunisation Advisor

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Vaccinator Bridging course, this can be achieved via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, and registered pharmacists, are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

The Provisional Vaccinator Update Course will end on 16 June 2023.

The authorisation certificates issued by Te Whatu Ora or the Ministry of Health to Provisional Authorised Vaccinators are valid for two years (from issue date). Vaccinator training is also valid for two years from the date it is completed. To maintain authorisation status, vaccinator training must be kept current. If training expires before the authorisation end date, Provisional Authorised Vaccinators must complete the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course to continue to vaccinate.

To access this course, please email Te Whatu Ora, Vaccinator Authorisations Team vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz to get the package code to access the online course on IMAC’s learning online platform.

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course or your Provisional Authorised Vaccinator certificate has expired, you can become part of the immunisation workforce via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, registered pharmacists are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

For any enquiries, please email imaceducation@auckland.ac.nz

New Immunisation website – 27 March 2023

We're pleased to let you know the new immunisation website – https://www.immunise.health.nz/ –is now live. This has been a real team effort with many partners, providers and stakeholders involved in getting us to this point.

This new Te Whatu Ora website has been developed to meet a critical gap in the information currently available online to whānau when making decisions about immunisations for their tamariki, rangatahi and themselves. It will also be a key component of a wider programme of focused communications to support our goal to increase childhood immunisation getting underway in April.

Although the site has a child immunisation focus – the content has been written to cover wider whānau immunisations too.
We hope the site feels relevant to all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand - and is warm, friendly, reassuring, and easy to understand.

A new tool we’re particularly excited about is the ability to create a personalised immunisation schedule for a child: https://www.immunise.health.nz/get-a-personalised-immunisation-schedule/

Please take some time to look around and feedback on anything – whether positive or negative. We’re particularly keen to hear what you think might be missing. This is the first phase and we will continue to build on the foundation it presents.

At the moment we’re sharing the site with the sector in order to gather feedback, and in a couple of weeks, we’ll start to actively drive traffic to the site. We look forward to hearing what you think.

MMR promotion – 27 March 2023

This week, the National Immunisation Programme continued to reach out to people born between 1989 and 2004, some of whom may not have received both doses of the MMR vaccine. Direct and digital channels are being used to reach people in most of the regions not previously contacted.

Contact is happening primarily via email, with text message as a backup where we do not have people’s email addresses. There will also be an outbound calling campaign to support this MMR promotion.

General information about measles and the MMR vaccine can be found on both Te Whatu Ora and Ministry of Health websites.
 

New website for Childhood Immunisation to go live mid-March – 13 March 2023

The National Immunisation Programme Communications and Engagement team is developing a public-facing microsite that enables parents, caregivers, and their whānau to understand why immunisation is so important for pēpi, tarmariki,and rangatahi.

The new website will provide information about why vaccination is important, what vaccinations are recommended and available, appropriate age these vaccines are administered, and where and how to get these vaccinations.

It will also support a wider childhood immunisation campaign that will include paid advertising, social media content, and marketing collateral.
 

IMAC WEBINAR: Vaccinating Health Workers and new Stage 2 training – 7 March 2023

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2023, 12-1pm
Teams live event - follow this link to attend the webinar

The webinar is for any potential or current employers of VHWs, their supervisors or VHWs themselves.

The webinar will cover: 
1.    The Journey of the VHW role so far
2.    Detail on the new VHW Stage 2 training
3.    Experiences of Māori and Pharmacist providers employing VHWs (TBC)
4.    Walk through on how to access the training and the new IMAC Learning Management System (LMS)
5.    Where to next for the VHW
6.    Questions and answers

National Immunisation Programme’s stakeholder hui recording – 21 February 2023

Thank you to those who attended the NIP stakeholder hui held last week.

At the hui Dr Caroline Hart provided a clinical update, then followed by an update from Astrid Koornneef, Interim Director Prevention on our priority work in the Programme including MMR, the Cold Chain Standards Review, Under 5s COVID-19 vaccine for immuno-compromised Tamariki aged 6 months to 4 years, Childhood Immunisation, and Bivalent. We concluded with a presentation on Aotearoa Immunisation Register from the AIR team. 

If you missed the hui a recording is available here: Dropbox: NIP stakeholder hui 16 February 2023.
 

Important measles update for primary care providers and organisations – 21 February 2023

With the first reported case of measles since 2019 in Aotearoa New Zealand earlier this week, please see attached the links to the various resources that have been developed to enable you to ensure our communities and whanau remain informed. Below are included some patient focused FAQs you may want to share through your practice communications channels.

  • Continue to check HealthPathways for up-to-date measles assessment and management information.
  • For latest media releases check here: News and updates – Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand 
  • Please notify the Medical Officer of Health as soon as you suspect measles – do not wait for a laboratory confirmation.
  • Primary care is encouraged to find out if their staff are immune to measles. If there is measles exposure on-site, immunisation records may be requested. 

Resources
On the Te Whatu Ora website, you will find:

All posters are available in 18 additional languages 

The National Immunisation Programme has a Dropbox of resources to help promote MMR vaccination. These are available for free download. 

There is vaccination information available in alternate formats on MOH website here: Measles vaccination | Ministry of Health NZ

Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health information:

Exposure events
View the exposure events, along with advice on what to do if a person was at the location at the time listed.

Public focused FAQs

Where can people get vaccinated?
You can get your free Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine at your General Practice, Māori or Pacifica provider and at many pharmacies.
Some pharmacies are unable to provide vaccinations to people under the age of 3 years, if this is the case in your area you will need to go to your primary care health provider for the free vaccine. Call your local pharmacy to check if they provide MMR vaccines. Or, to find your local pharmacy that provides this service, visit www.healthpoint.co.nz and type ‘MMR vaccine’ into the search box. Many pharmacies will allow walk-ins but it’s a good idea to call ahead to check. 
You’ll need a total of 2 doses to be fully protected and they need to be at least a month apart.

Where are possible exposure sites?
There are several public exposure events in Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga between Sunday 5 February and Thursday 9 February. 
These include a festival in the Waikato; bus transport to and from Tauranga and Waikato, cafes and a hotel in Tauranga; a pharmacy and supermarket in Auckland’s CBD. 
Details of these sites available at http://www.health.govt.nz/measlesexposure  

What should people do if they’ve been at a location of interest?
We ask anyone present at these exposure events to stay alert to symptoms of measles and to check if they are immune. Please follow the advice on the exposure events website: http://www.health.govt.nz/measlesexposure 

If a person is not immune to measles, or not sure, then they should watch out for measles symptoms and call their primary care health provider or Healthline on 0800 611 116 if they occur. It is also recommended that people who are unsure of their immunity get vaccinated against measles.
A dedicated Disability Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support disabled people.  For measles or general enquiries call free on 0800 11 12 13 or text 8988 for help and information. 

MMR is given as two doses. If you were born on or after 1 January 1969 and are not sure that you’ve had two doses, play it safe and get vaccinated. There are no safety concerns with having an extra dose.

How infectious is measles? 
Measles is a very serious illness that can spread easily amongst those that are not immune. It is much more contagious than COVID-19, particularly amongst people who aren’t immune.
The best protection against measles is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.  It is safe to have an extra MMR vaccination if you can’t prove you have had two doses. 
 
The MMR vaccine is free. If you or anyone in your whānau born on or after 1 January 1969 has not had an MMR vaccine, or aren't sure, ask your General Practice, Māori or Pacifica provider, parent or caregiver. If you can’t confirm two doses were given, play it safe and get vaccinated. There are no safety concerns with having an extra dose.

What are the symptoms of measles?
Symptoms can include a fever, cough, runny nose and sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes. These are followed by a blotchy rash. If you catch measles you are infectious from four days before and until four days after the rash appears.

What should people do if they experience symptoms?
If you have symptoms you should and call your General Practice, Māori or Pacifica provider or Healthline on 0800 611 116. If you need to visit your primary care health provider or an after-hours clinic phone ahead first to limit the risk of the virus being spread to other people. Because measles is so infectious, it’s important that those that have been diagnosed with measles isolate (i.e. staying at home unless seeking healthcare). People who have measles will need to isolate until four days after the rash first appears.

What does this case mean for New Zealand?
There has not been sustained transmission of measles for longer than a year in New Zealand since 2014. However, measles is often imported into New Zealand following international travel.
It was expected that we would have further cases of measles in New Zealand, and we have been preparing for this for some time.
Public health teams are currently tracing contacts of the case to check immunity, manage them appropriately and offer vaccination where appropriate. 
We are all aware of how infectious measles is from the last outbreak in Auckland and Northland in 2019. The most important thing that people can do to protect themselves is to ensure they and their Tamariki are immunised. Vaccination is the best protection against measles.
 

IMAC measles update – 21 February 2023

IMAC has been doing a promotion of measles vaccination since Tuesday on social media, and will continue this as long as needed. Resources include: 

Measles case identified in NZ – 14 February 2023

A measles case has been confirmed in New Zealand for the first time since the 2019 outbreak. The individual is an adult living in Auckland but they were infected overseas. They became infectious after their arrival in New Zealand. The confirmed case is now isolating at home and contact tracing is underway.

A media release has been issued to help identify any members of the public who may have been exposed to measles at a number of locations. We will be in touch further as more information comes to hand. 

It is important to consider measles for anyone who has been in attendance at the listed exposure events in the media release, identify vaccine status and promote vaccine uptake. Should a patient present and advise they are a contact of a measles case please proactively initiate any required vaccinations and public health actions.  Patients who were exposed to the case at high risk sites may be required to remain at home in self-quarantine unless proven to be immune.  High-risk exposure events will be posted on the Te Whatu Ora and Ministry of Health websites.  Contacts may also contact Whakarongorau/Healthline for further information. 

This message alerts you in case you experience additional demand for assessment and management and vaccinations from the community. You may also want to proactively contact any patients due for their immunisation.

Thank you for your support of this.

This acts as another timely reminder to clinicians to be alert for the signs and symptoms of measles, particularly in unvaccinated or immunosuppressed people who have recently returned from overseas. Measles is characterised by the presence of all of the following:

  • Generalised maculopapular rash, starting on the head and neck then spreading down and out and fading
  • Fever > 38ºC (if measured) present at the same time as the rash
  • One or more of cough, coryza, conjunctivitis or Koplik spots present at the same time as the rash

Please refer to your local Health Pathways for more information about measles. 

Immunisation 
The best protection against measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccination is free for people up to age 32 or anyone born after 1968 that hasn’t had two doses.
The first dose of MMR vaccine is due at 12 months of age. Vaccination is vital due to the risk of severe disease in this age group. Ensure tamariki are recalled before their first birthday so this dose can be delivered on time.

Is your patient population up to date with both doses of MMR?  Please be aware that many children have missed out on their scheduled MMR during the last 3 years due to lockdowns.
There are also a number of people aged 17 – 32 years who have missed out on 2 doses of MMR. Please offer opportunistic vaccination to this cohort.

MMR is contraindicated in pregnancy because it is a live vaccine but can be given immediately post-partum. 

Your local public health team will advise regarding vaccination of any close contacts. The MMR vaccine, if given within 72 hours of exposure to measles virus, may provide protection to the unimmunised and help limit the spread of measles.

Please call IMAC with any questions regarding vaccination of your patient, particularly if the person is immunocompromised.

Notify all suspected cases of measles to your local Medical Officer of Health

As measles is highly infectious, an urgent public health response is required to control any potential outbreak. Clinicians are reminded to notify all suspected measles cases immediately to the local Medical Officer of Health. Do not wait for laboratory confirmation before notifying.  

More information 

Mpox

National Immunisation Programme’s stakeholder hui recording – 21 February 2023

Thank you to those who attended the NIP stakeholder hui held last week.

At the hui Dr Caroline Hart provided a clinical update, then followed by an update from Astrid Koornneef, Interim Director Prevention on our priority work in the Programme including MMR, the Cold Chain Standards Review, Under 5s COVID-19 vaccine for immuno-compromised Tamariki aged 6 months to 4 years, Childhood Immunisation, and Bivalent. We concluded with a presentation on Aotearoa Immunisation Register from the AIR team. 

If you missed the hui a recording is available here: Dropbox: NIP stakeholder hui 16 February 2023.
 

National Immunisation Programme Hui – 7 February 2023

We warmly invite you to the upcoming National Immunisation Programme hui, which is being held from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Thursday 16 February 2023.

This hui is designed to keep our vaccination and immunisation teams up to date with plans and activities undertaken by the National Immunisation Programme. The hui will include the following presentations: 

  • Astrid Koornneef Programme update 
  • Dr Caroline Hart: Clinical updates 
  • Sarah Keenan: Aotearoa Immunisation Register  

If you have specific issues you’d like addressed, please email them to us before Wednesday 15 February 2023.
Please copy the hui invitation details below into your calendar, and feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues who may wish to attend.   
 
Date: Thursday 16 February 2023 
Time: 1.30pm – 2.30pm  
Link:  Microsoft Teams meeting 
          Click here to join the meeting 
          Meeting ID: 497 681 435 067 
          Passcode: iiUXMb 
     
We hope you can join us, but if you can’t we will share a recording of this hui with you.

Weather event preparedness – 1 February 2023

Please ensure you have plans in place to move vaccines off-site in case of power failures, ensuring staff are familiar with how to cool chilly bins and use recording devices, and have frozen ice packs ready. This is particularly important to protect against the loss of vaccines in short supply, for example, the mpox vaccine and infant Pfizer vaccine.

COVID and mpox in 2023 webinar – 24 January 2023

On Tuesday 21 February at 7.30pm, the Goodfellow Unit is hosting a webinar on COVID-19 and mpox in 2023.

The team from the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre will overview what's coming up in 2023 in the covid and monkeypox space, specifically:

COVID-19

  • Testing – Anthony Jordan
  • Therapeutics – Tim Cutfield
  • Vaccines – Anthony Jordan
  • Whanau HQ - Anthony Jordan

Mpox

  • General update – Teena Mathew
  • Management - Jeannie Oliphant
  • Vaccines – Anthony Jordan

As always, we will answer as many questions as we can as time permits.

Register now.

Advice to clients – 23 January 2023

Please refer to the below advice to clients seeking information about the mpox vaccination:

If you don’t have mpox symptoms, and are concerned you might be at risk of mpox, you can complete a free initial assessment by:

  • Visiting the Burnett Foundation website and using the “Evaluate Your Monkeypox Risk” tool; or
  • Calling the mpox Healthline on 0800 116 672 between 8am and 8pm.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment, you may be offered a free consultation with a medical practitioner at a dedicated mpox clinic. At these consultation clinics health professionals will discuss the risk of exposure to mpox, and options, including benefits and risks.

If you don’t have mpox symptoms and are concerned you might be at risk of mpox and choose to visit a GP, Urgent Care Clinic or After-Hours Clinic, normaal consultation fees may apply.

For free advice, visit the Burnett Foundation website and use the “Evaluate Your Monkeypox Risk” self-assessment tool, or call the mpox Healthline on 0800 116 672 between 8am and 8pm.  
 

Holiday vaccine ordering – 17 January 2023

Due to Auckland anniversary day on Monday 30 January and Waitangi Day on Monday 6 February, there will be no flights operating to airfreight supplies of Boostrix and mpox vaccines to the South Island. This means there will be no deliveries to the South Island on 31 January and 7 February.

Please order minimum 3 weeks of stock coverage during the week commencing 23 January to ensure coverage over the holiday periods.

If you have any queries, please contact shelby.davidson@southerndhb.govt.nz.

Mpox clinical guidance to Health District clinical leads, GPs, Pharmacists – 10 January 2023 

FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY – NOT TO BE RELEASED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC 

On 9 January 2023, a consultation service for people at risk of mpox (Monkeypox) to assess risks and options including vaccine eligibility was announced, with the service becoming available at specific locations from Monday 16 January.  

This is what you need to know: 

  1. From 16 January 2023 designated mpox consultation clinics will become available throughout Aotearoa at locations arranged by the local Health District. 
  2. At these consultation clinics health professionals will discuss the risk of exposure to mpox, and options, benefits and risks of vaccination for people at risk of mpox. There will be 40 clinics nationwide and consumers will have a choice of where they prefer to be seen. 
  3. Following the consultation, including full informed consent, the vaccine may be made available by the medical practitioner and provided through the mpox consultation clinic.  
  4. The vaccine cannot be given without a prescription, and due to limited supply, it will only be available at these consultation clinics. 
  5. From Tuesday (10 January), people can complete an initial assessment to check if they are at risk of mpox at https://www.burnettfoundation.org.nz or by ringing the new dedicated mpox Healthline on 0800 116 672 between 8am and 8pm. If a consumer asks you about how they can access the mpox consultation, please ask them to visit the Burnett Foundation website to use the assessment tool which will tell them what to do next. If they cannot access the website, they can ring Healthline on 0800 116 672. This is a new dedicated mpox number. 
  6. Nobody can advertise or promote the vaccine or its availability because it is not approved for use in New Zealand, although it can be discussed with a GP within the usual doctor-patient relationship. Consumers will be offered a consultation with a doctor at a dedicated consultation clinic to discuss their eligibility, options and the risks and benefits.  

Clinical guidelines 
Medical practitioners may initially supply the vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis to:  

  • Close physical contacts of people infected with mpox, such as sexual partners and people who live in the same household.   
  • Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who have multiple sexual partners, and trans, and non-binary people and cisgender women who are in intimate relationships with these eligible men.  
  • Those recommended to have the vaccine by medical specialists – we recommend only medical practitioners with additional training through IMAC prescribe the vaccine. If you are a doctor and are unsure, please phone your local sexual health, public health, infectious diseases specialist or IMAC for advice depending on the situation. 

This vaccine can also be prescribed for physical contacts of people infected with mpox after they have been exposed to mpox. If this is within four days after first exposure to mpox it will provide the highest chance of avoiding the disease, but it can be given up to 14 days after exposure. If people think they have been exposed to mpox they should call Healthline on 0800 116 672 

If a patient of yours might be suitable to be prescribed a vaccine due to recent exposure to confirmed mpox please phone your local public health unit who are managing active cases. 

If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing immunisation@health.govt.nz. 
 
Additional information 
The National Immunisation Programme has been working closely with Health Districts, sexual health centres and the Burnett Foundation to enable vaccinations which can only be made available under section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981. This allows for ‘unapproved’ vaccines to be provided to individual medical practitioners for a particular patient after assessing the patient’s needs. Unapproved medicines have not been assessed for their quality, safety or efficacy – more information is available at https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/RIss/unapp.asp

Eligible people may be offered a consultation with a medical practitioner at a dedicated clinic. As part of this consultation the option of receiving the vaccine as well as the potential risks and benefits will be discussed. Consultations will only take place at Sexual Health centres or other locations arranged by the local Health District for mpox. The initial supply of the vaccine is limited with 5,000 vials of the vaccine have been obtained, allowing for up to 20,000 doses to be administered. In the initial phase, the Health Districts’ mpox consultation service is prioritising first dose for the eligible population. Timing of the recommended second dose is a minimum 28-day interval and can be up to 2 years after the first dose. 

Advertising or promoting the availability of unapproved medicines is prohibited by section 20 of the Medicines Act 1981.  This means that the vaccine cannot be advertised, nor its availability promoted. It can only be offered by a medical practitioner to a consumer as a proposed medical treatment and then administered after a full informed consent process. 

It’s possible a mpox vaccinated consumer experiences post vaccination effects, including the potential risk of myocarditis symptoms. We’re advising the consumer immediately to seek medical attention on the regular Healthline 0800 611 116 number or their trusted health professional.  

As part of our communications, we are encouraging anyone with any concerns about mpox to seek advice from the place they normally receive health advice, which could be their GP, sexual health clinic or the dedicated mpox Healthline on 0800 116 672. 
 

Boostrix

New Immunisation website – 27 March 2023

We're pleased to let you know the new immunisation website – https://www.immunise.health.nz/ –is now live. This has been a real team effort with many partners, providers and stakeholders involved in getting us to this point.

This new Te Whatu Ora website has been developed to meet a critical gap in the information currently available online to whānau when making decisions about immunisations for their tamariki, rangatahi and themselves. It will also be a key component of a wider programme of focused communications to support our goal to increase childhood immunisation getting underway in April.

Although the site has a child immunisation focus – the content has been written to cover wider whānau immunisations too.
We hope the site feels relevant to all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand - and is warm, friendly, reassuring, and easy to understand.

A new tool we’re particularly excited about is the ability to create a personalised immunisation schedule for a child: https://www.immunise.health.nz/get-a-personalised-immunisation-schedule/

Please take some time to look around and feedback on anything – whether positive or negative. We’re particularly keen to hear what you think might be missing. This is the first phase and we will continue to build on the foundation it presents.

At the moment we’re sharing the site with the sector in order to gather feedback, and in a couple of weeks, we’ll start to actively drive traffic to the site. We look forward to hearing what you think.

New website for Childhood Immunisation to go live mid-March – 13 March 2023

The National Immunisation Programme Communications and Engagement team is developing a public-facing microsite that enables parents, caregivers, and their whānau to understand why immunisation is so important for pēpi, tarmariki,and rangatahi.

The new website will provide information about why vaccination is important, what vaccinations are recommended and available, appropriate age these vaccines are administered, and where and how to get these vaccinations.

It will also support a wider childhood immunisation campaign that will include paid advertising, social media content, and marketing collateral.
 

IMAC WEBINAR: Vaccinating Health Workers and new Stage 2 training – 7 March 2023

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2023, 12-1pm
Teams live event - follow this link to attend the webinar

The webinar is for any potential or current employers of VHWs, their supervisors or VHWs themselves.

The webinar will cover: 
1.    The Journey of the VHW role so far
2.    Detail on the new VHW Stage 2 training
3.    Experiences of Māori and Pharmacist providers employing VHWs (TBC)
4.    Walk through on how to access the training and the new IMAC Learning Management System (LMS)
5.    Where to next for the VHW
6.    Questions and answers

National Immunisation Programme’s stakeholder hui recording – 21 February 2023

Thank you to those who attended the NIP stakeholder hui held last week.

At the hui Dr Caroline Hart provided a clinical update, then followed by an update from Astrid Koornneef, Interim Director Prevention on our priority work in the Programme including MMR, the Cold Chain Standards Review, Under 5s COVID-19 vaccine for immuno-compromised Tamariki aged 6 months to 4 years, Childhood Immunisation, and Bivalent. We concluded with an presentation on Aotearoa Immunisation Register from the AIR team. 

If you missed the hui a recording is available here: Dropbox: NIP stakeholder hui 16 February 2023.
 

National Immunisation Programme Hui – 7 February 2023

We warmly invite you to the upcoming National Immunisation Programme hui, which is being held from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Thursday 16 February 2023.

This hui is designed to keep our vaccination and immunisation teams up to date with plans and activities undertaken by the National Immunisation Programme. The hui will include the following presentations: 

  • Astrid Koornneef Programme update 
  • Dr Caroline Hart: Clinical updates 
  • Sarah Keenan: Aotearoa Immunisation Register  

If you have specific issues you’d like addressed, please email them to us before Wednesday 15 February 2023.
Please copy the hui invitation details below into your calendar, and feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues who may wish to attend.   
 
Date: Thursday 16 February 2023 
Time: 1.30pm – 2.30pm  
Link:  Microsoft Teams meeting 
          Click here to join the meeting 
          Meeting ID: 497 681 435 067 
          Passcode: iiUXMb 
     
We hope you can join us, but if you can’t we will share a recording of this hui with you.

Weather event preparedness – 1 February 2023

Please ensure you have plans in place to move vaccines off-site in case of power failures, ensuring staff are familiar with how to cool chilly bins and use recording devices, and have frozen ice packs ready. This is particularly important to protect against the loss of vaccines in short supply, for example, the mpox vaccine and infant Pfizer vaccine.

Influenza 

New Immunisation website – 27 March 2023

We're pleased to let you know the new immunisation website – https://www.immunise.health.nz/ –is now live. This has been a real team effort with many partners, providers and stakeholders involved in getting us to this point.

This new Te Whatu Ora website has been developed to meet a critical gap in the information currently available online to whānau when making decisions about immunisations for their tamariki, rangatahi and themselves. It will also be a key component of a wider programme of focused communications to support our goal to increase childhood immunisation getting underway in April.

Although the site has a child immunisation focus – the content has been written to cover wider whānau immunisations too.
We hope the site feels relevant to all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand - and is warm, friendly, reassuring, and easy to understand.

A new tool we’re particularly excited about is the ability to create a personalised immunisation schedule for a child: https://www.immunise.health.nz/get-a-personalised-immunisation-schedule/

Please take some time to look around and feedback on anything – whether positive or negative. We’re particularly keen to hear what you think might be missing. This is the first phase and we will continue to build on the foundation it presents.

At the moment we’re sharing the site with the sector in order to gather feedback, and in a couple of weeks, we’ll start to actively drive traffic to the site. We look forward to hearing what you think.

Important updates of flu campaign – 21 March 2023

With flu vaccinations available from 1 April, there are several important operational considerations and reminders that may be of relevance to you depending on your role in the immunisation space: 

Book My Vaccine
The public can now use Book My Vaccine to book appointments for their flu vaccinations as well as their COVID-19 vaccinations. Many flu vaccination sites will only be visible to consumers from 31 March. If you receive queries about this from the public, please encourage them to check Book My Vaccine and make a flu booking from 1 April. Also a reminder that if you are offering the flu vaccine, please click here to learn how you can include your location and appointments on the site. Key messages and Q&As are attached to this email. 

Dropbox
The consent form, policy statement, IMAC flu kit and fact sheet will soon be available in Dropbox. Additional flu collateral is still being developed and we will also make these available as soon as possible. Please check our Dropbox next week for these.

Other vaccinations
When administering the flu vaccine, it’s an ideal time to discuss other vaccinations with customers including COVID-19, MMR, and Boostrix for hapū māmā in particular.  

Claiming for staff vaccinations
Non-district health and disability workers will be able to claim for staff vaccinations via the portal from 4 April 2023 until mid-October 2023. 

Ordering needles
If you’re a vaccination provider, don’t forget to order needles in preparation for the flu season. A reminder that Afluria Quad, Afluria Quad Jnr and FluAd Quad vaccines come with no supplied needle. You can order a variety of sizes/gauges directly from EBOS, Amtech, pharmacy wholesalers, or wherever you get your consumables from. 

Promotion
Flu promotions are about to get will get underway from 1 April  with a focus on Māori and Pasifika aged 55+, all others aged 65+, pregnant people, immunocompromised people and others who are eligible for funded a FREE flu vaccination. Targeted channels (eg email, text etc) will be used to let eligible people know they can have a free flu shot and to visit BookMyVaccine to arrange it. 

IMAC bridging course pathway – 21 March 2023

The IMAC Vaccinator Bridging Course will end on 30 April 2023.

This course is a temporary pathway for eligible and interested provisionally authorised vaccinators to become fully authorised vaccinators.

People who have completed the course but have not completed the other requirements as outlined in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4 are encouraged to do this and apply to their local Medical Officer of Health for full vaccinator authorisation.

People who are eligible and interested in this course are encouraged to enrol now. For course dates please view IMAC website and register.

Māori and Pacific immunisation providers who wish to organise an in-person 1-day course for their team before 30 April 2023 should contact the below local IMAC education team.

  • Northern - Lisa Box, Northern Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Midlands - Janet Collins, Midlands Senior Immunisation Education Facilitator
  • Central – Shelley Kininmonth, Central Regional Immunisation Advisor
  • Southern – Sue Rogers, Southern Regional Immunisation Advisor

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Vaccinator Bridging course, this can be achieved via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, and registered pharmacists, are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

The Provisional Vaccinator Update Course will end on 16 June 2023.

The authorisation certificates issued by Te Whatu Ora or the Ministry of Health to Provisional Authorised Vaccinators are valid for two years (from issue date). Vaccinator training is also valid for two years from the date it is completed. To maintain authorisation status, vaccinator training must be kept current. If training expires before the authorisation end date, Provisional Authorised Vaccinators must complete the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course to continue to vaccinate.

To access this course, please email Te Whatu Ora, Vaccinator Authorisations Team vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz to get the package code to access the online course on IMAC’s learning online platform.

If you wish to become a fully authorised vaccinator after the closing of the Provisional Vaccinator Update Course or your Provisional Authorised Vaccinator certificate has expired, you can become part of the immunisation workforce via the Vaccinator Foundation Course pathway. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, registered pharmacists are eligible for the Vaccinator Foundation Course.

For any enquiries, please email imaceducation@auckland.ac.nz

BMV training – 27 March 2023

Do you need to quickly find out how to use Book My Vaccine? Do you want to ensure you are fully prepared to manage consumer bookings and appointment schedules? If so, join us for a 30-minute webinar on how to use this powerful tool.

During this webinar, we'll cover the top things you need to know to effectively use Book My Vaccine. Our expert team will give you tips and tricks for managing your schedule efficiently, as well as how to customize your settings to best suit your needs. We'll also share some best practices for communicating with consumers and ensuring they have a smooth and stress-free booking and vaccination experience.

If you're ready to take the next step towards a more organized and efficient scheduling process, then this webinar is for you. Register now to reserve your spot, and join us for this informative and engaging event!

Join us for a 30-minute webinar to ensure you are prepared to use Book My Vaccine to manage consumer bookings and appointment schedules. 

Dates and Times

  • Thurs Mar 30, 2023 10:30 AM
  • Thurs Apr 6, 2023 04:30 PM
  • Thurs Apr 13, 2023 06:30 PM

Please register for the series hereRegistering will also give you access to the recordings.

Please forward this on to any sites, stakeholders or staff that you feel may benefit from attending this webinar. For additional information on BMV please visit the Te Whatu Ora website.

You can download BMV key messages and reactive QAs here.
 

CIR updates for flu vaccinations – 15 March 2023

As part of the ongoing enhancements to the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR), updates are planned to be released on the evening of Wednesday 15 March 2023.

Influenza: To support the 2023 influenza campaign we have made some updates to how you record flu vaccinations. You can select:

  • the applicable indication
  • a batch number from the picklist, and the batch expiry date will populate automatically.
CIR influenza vaccination indications

Reminder about editing vaccinations: You can edit vaccinations recorded on CIR for up to 24 hours after the vaccination event.

If you require changes after 24 hours, please contact help@imms.min.health.nz.

Group Bookings: There is no longer a difference between large and small group bookings. This means that only the group booking arrangers details are listed. Immunisation events for the individuals that are part of a group will not be created. Group bookings cannot be checked in.

Small group bookings made prior to this change will have immunisation events for the individuals that are part of the group, but you will not be able to check them in as a group.

How-to guides:

Email and Phone Support: Please continue to direct questions and support requirements to help@imms.min.health.nz or call the team on 0800 223 987. These channels are currently monitored:

  • 8am - 5pm, Monday to Friday (from 9.30am on Wednesdays)
  • 9am - 2pm, Saturday and Sunday

If contacting via email (recommended), please provide a detailed description of the issue including what your issue relates to, your full name and your mobile number so the resolver can contact you.

NIP and IMAC WEBINAR: Influenza and COVID-19 – 13 March 2023

Get the latest information on the 2023 influenza programme and vaccines, COVID-19 boosters, co-administration and more!

Date: Tuesday 21 March 2023, 5.30pm-6.30pm
Registration: To attend the webinar register here

The NIP team and IMAC will present on: 

  • Influenza Programme goals for 2023
  • Post vaccine safety surveillance
  • AIR and Book My Vaccine
  • COVID Boosters
  • Grey cap COVID vaccines
  • Co-administration of COVID and Influenza vaccines
IMAC WEBINAR: Vaccinating Health Workers and new Stage 2 training – 7 March 2023

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2023, 12-1pm
Teams live event - follow this link to attend the webinar

The webinar is for any potential or current employers of VHWs, their supervisors or VHWs themselves.

The webinar will cover: 
1.    The Journey of the VHW role so far
2.    Detail on the new VHW Stage 2 training
3.    Experiences of Māori and Pharmacist providers employing VHWs (TBC)
4.    Walk through on how to access the training and the new IMAC Learning Management System (LMS)
5.    Where to next for the VHW
6.    Questions and answers

Influenza update – 6 March 2023

April 1 marks the start of the Flu Vaccination programme so there is a lot of work underway to help make 2023 a hugely successful year. Pharmac has confirmed the eligibility criteria for funded vaccines in 2023 – the key headline is that they are widening access to tamariki ages 6 months to 12 years, and will again offer it to Māori and Pacific peoples 55-64 years and those with serious mental health and addiction conditions. You can read the full release here

2023 flu kit booklet 

  • Can now be accessed online at influenza.org.nz. (Version dated 07/03/2023 on front and back covers).
  • Renamed to FLU2023 Essential information for health professionals.
  • Has minimal colour, as requested, so that providers who print it out themselves won’t use up so much printer ink as in previous years.

Influenza vaccine can now be ordered via Healthcare Logistics 

2023 consumer resources 

Healthcare worker vaccination 

Book My Vaccine (BMV) is available for influenza vaccinations in 2023 

  • In 2023, consumers will be able to book their influenza vaccine appointments via bookmyvaccine.health.nz
  • Appointment availability starts 1 April; consumers can book these appointments from 16 March.
  • Providers currently using or intending to use BMV for influenza vaccination (new for 2023) need to urgently upload their appointment availability.
  • Visit tewhatuora.govt.nz/our-health-system/digital-health/book-my-vaccine/ for  more information, including on how to sign up to offer influenza vaccinations via BMV
Influenza 2023 – 28 February 2023

Providers will need to order needles in preparation for flu season:

  • For this year’s flu season, the available vaccines will be needle free.
  • Seqirus has advised this in their flu newsletter and notes the recommended gauge/size. You will need to purchase needles from suppliers such as EBOS, Amtech or your pharmacy wholesaler. Fluquadri (private purchase only from 6m) has needle supplied but not attached.
  • This means that you can choose the needle size according to the patient in front of you.
  • Our main interest is to ensure that there will be sufficient needles to accommodate demand. Seqirus has engaged with needle suppliers to ensure sufficient stock of needles. They advise that between EBOS, BD and Amtech there is approx. 3 million needles in NZ currently, with more arriving before the start of the season.

Update on ordering/delivery dates:

  • All providers can order influenza stock from 6 March via HCL website. Stock will be dispatched from HCL on 20th so providers could potentially receive it any time from 21 March.

Update on expected eligibility:

  • NIP is working closely with and advocating Pharmac regarding influenza eligibility criteria. In 2022 was 3 new criteria added, only 1 of which was going to be extended criteria moving forward. 3-12 years and Māori & Pacifica 55-64 years funding was pulled from COVID funds for just the 2022 season. 
  • Eligibility is a Pharmac decision, and we anticipate there will be an announcement shortly.

Bivalent COVID vaccine & flu vaccine

  • As the eligibility change for the Bivalent booster will coincide with the start of flu season, a key message is to encourage consumers to receive both concomitantly for winter preparedness. 

Flu toolkit and consumer collateral

  • New Flu vaccination consent form and What you need to know fact sheet are now in the Dropbox - Influenza (flu) 
  • IMAC flu toolkit will be published online on 3 March. Over 6000 flu kits are scheduled to be sent by IMAC via post 10-13 March. There will be a supply of the fact sheet in the flu toolkit, you will be able to order more through Blue Star.
National Immunisation Programme’s stakeholder hui recording – 21 February 2023

Thank you to those who attended the NIP stakeholder hui held last week.

At the hui Dr Caroline Hart provided a clinical update, then followed by an update from Astrid Koornneef, Interim Director Prevention on our priority work in the Programme including MMR, the Cold Chain Standards Review, Under 5s COVID-19 vaccine for immuno-compromised Tamariki aged 6 months to 4 years, Childhood Immunisation, and Bivalent. We concluded with a presentation on Aotearoa Immunisation Register from the AIR team. 

If you missed the hui a recording is available here: Dropbox: NIP stakeholder hui 16 February 2023.
 

National Immunisation Programme Hui – 7 February 2023

We warmly invite you to the upcoming National Immunisation Programme hui, which is being held from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Thursday 16 February 2023.

This hui is designed to keep our vaccination and immunisation teams up to date with plans and activities undertaken by the National Immunisation Programme. The hui will include the following presentations: 

  • Astrid Koornneef Programme update 
  • Dr Caroline Hart: Clinical updates 
  • Sarah Keenan: Aotearoa Immunisation Register  

If you have specific issues you’d like addressed, please email them to us before Wednesday 15 February 2023.
Please copy the hui invitation details below into your calendar, and feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues who may wish to attend.   
 
Date: Thursday 16 February 2023 
Time: 1.30pm – 2.30pm  
Link:  Microsoft Teams meeting 
          Click here to join the meeting 
          Meeting ID: 497 681 435 067 
          Passcode: iiUXMb 
     
We hope you can join us, but if you can’t we will share a recording of this hui with you.

Book My Vaccine to support 2023 Flu campaign – 13 February 2023

The National Immunisation Programme has announced that Book My Vaccine (BMV) will be used to support the 2023 flu campaign from 1 April.

The Programme is working to expand BMV to allow the booking of other immunisations and will be supporting districts and providers through this change. 

Flu vaccinations will be able to be recorded on three different systems this year. Find more information and guidelines on what is recorded where in the January AIR information pack.  
 

Weather event preparedness – 1 February 2023

Please ensure you have plans in place to move vaccines off-site in case of power failures, ensuring staff are familiar with how to cool chilly bins and use recording devices, and have frozen ice packs ready. This is particularly important to protect against the loss of vaccines in short supply, for example, the mpox vaccine and infant Pfizer vaccine.