COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES
Changes to the Medicines Regulations 1984 are now in effect. The new regulation 44AB will enable a larger, more diverse pool of potential COVID-19 Vaccinators, contributing to trust and confidence in the vaccination rollout programme.
Healthcare employers play a critical role in ensuring this new workforce is set up to succeed and ultimately contribute to the success of the entire vaccination programme.
If you participated in the consultation process on these changes in May, thank you. All input was treated with care and consideration. It resulted in a few changes to the proposed regulations and it’s helping us refine what the role will look like in practice. Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi; with your contribution and my contribution, the community will prosper.
Two key changes since the initial proposal are:
About the COVID-19 vaccinator role
Under the supervision and direction of an experienced, registered health professional, the newly enabled COVID-19 Vaccinators will administer the vaccine to triaged people with low risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. They will observe people post-vaccination and will support administration as required within vaccination teams.
They will not work independently, take formal informed consent from consumers, vaccinate high risk health consumers or lead any adverse event interventions.
What does this mean for employers?
This role enables more people to join the thousands of existing people in the pipeline who can be trained to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. We encourage you to reach out to people in your networks who have worked in a healthcare setting, such as kaiāwhina. It is also expected to increase the numbers of Māori and Pacific people in the pipeline, where there has been long-term under-representation.
The training and assessment will require Covid-19 Vaccinators to achieve the same standard as authorised and provisional vaccinators for the tasks they will be trained to perform. People must be assessed as competent by an experienced vaccinator, and authorised by the Director of Public Health, before they can be deployed.
You’ll need to consider the sites they’ll be best suited to. It’s important that the right supervision settings are in place, that new workers are covered under your (or their own) indemnity insurance and that assessment and monitoring is done well.
The letter Information for Employers provides further background and considerations.
A number of resources will support employers to take on board this new health workforce and increase the representation of Māori and Pacific in their vaccination teams. This includes flyers for both the COVID-19 Vaccinator and Vaccination Clinical Supervisor roles, a summary of the training and authorisation pathway and job specifications for inclusion in job descriptions (attached).
The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation programme run fortnightly webinars for primary and community care (Thursday mornings, 11am-12noon). These webinars provide updates and highlight areas of work within the programme. If you would like to receive an invitation to these webinars, run via Microsoft Teams, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAC will also run webinars for potential Vaccination Clinical Supervisors. When dates and times are confirmed, these will be communicated.
The recently improved Hands Up to join our vaccination teams database (formerly the surge database), is also a helpful tool for DHBs on behalf of themselves or their commissioned providers, to directly search for suitable people from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds willing to support their vaccination events.
Hands Up registrations can now to be completed in Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan. People can let us know what languages they speak and whether they have experience working with people with disabilities. This will help you prioritise applicants who reflect your communities.
We suggest you regularly check the webpage COVID-19: Vaccine information for health professionals for current operating guidelines, Immunisation handbook and links to IMAC training information.
PDF Flyer - Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator
PDF - Become a Vaccination Clinical Supervisor
PDF - Info for employees
PDF - COVID-19 Vaccinator training and Authorisation Pathway
Acting Manager - Primary Care l Primary Health Care System Improvement l Health System Improvement and Innovation l
Ministry of Health