This page outlines updates and information specific to COVID-19 vaccinating practices. It contains the most recent and important updates. Please also see our resources section.
We will keep this page updated.
Anyone that wants a COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of residency or visa status and so long as they are 12 years or older, is entitled to a COVID-19 vaccination.
Please ensure all staff change the Provider setting on the CIR home screen to 'Midlands Regional Health Network Waikato Charitable Trust (Pinnacle)'.
If any staff have problems seeing the correct Provider in the drop down list, please log a call with the COVID-19 Help Desk (via email or call 0800 223 987) and they can resolve this for you.
Your Facility and Site can remain the same.
Once the Provider is set this will remain the default, so it only needs changing once.
The Provider setting is the trigger for the CIR PPD payment solution to ensure you get paid, so please ensure all staff set their Provider correctly.
If you haven't already done so, please complete this access request form for CIR which you can populate to get access to payment reporting in CIR.
It would be good practice to have a couple of people who can access this in case someone is away. These people will need to have done the basic CIR admin training to cover security and use of the system.
Once completed please send this form to your DHB and they will arrange approval by the DHB workforce lead and submit to the COVID-19 Help Desk for actioning.
For all sites under a Provider when a vaccination event has been completed in CIR, the next night the CIR PPD solution will automatically check this against the payment rules to ensure there are no errors. A provider should check the Payments Management Report on a regular basis to manage any transactions in error.
Every Wednesday night the payment process will pick up all vaccination events successfully acknowledged (in the step above) up until the Sunday night and process them for payment. The payment will be made to you on the 5th and the 20th of the month.
When payment is made a Buyer Created Tax Invoice (BCTI) and Remittance are produced for the Provider (meaning you will not need to generate your own invoices). In the interim it is possible to use the CIR Payments Invoice Reconciliation instructions to work out which vaccination events were paid at which rate and match this back to the credit in your account.
The Ministry of Health has noticed a trend in DNA/did not attend appointments across the country and has been rapidly working to support a reduction where they can.
Currently it's believed the main reason for this is people walking into clinics and getting vaccinated earlier than when they have booked on hearing the messages telling people there is plenty of capacity and plenty of options for getting vaccinated, including just walking in.
While this is great for encouraging people to get vaccinated, it has proven to be problematic for future bookings.
The following steps within Book my Vaccine are being implemented to assist.
Book my Vaccine actions underway
Read the 22 September issue for information about the IMAC Clinical Immunisation Toolkit, vaccinating during pregnancy, training options for vaccinators and more.
A standard fee for service price of $36.05 (excl GST) for each vaccination, which will increase to $48.72 (excl GST) for vaccinations that are provided out of hours.
Out of hours is defined as:
Underage vaccination should not occur under any circumstances and must be logged with CARM as an AEFI. Check the individual’s date of birth and confirm their age prior to vaccinating. If they are underage, do not vaccinate.
The combination of LDS needle and Unifix syringes is current best practice and it is important that the correct technique for drawing up vaccine doses is employed. Pressure must be equalised in vials when drawing up vaccine and vaccines must not be drawn up more than six hours in advance of being used. Guidance on the correct technique for vaccine preparation and administration is available on the IMAC website.
IMAC has developed a useful factsheet that provides recommendations on managing vaccinations of people who are fearful of needles.
COVID-19 vaccination is now back up and running within Alert Level 4.
Normal infection control processes within the practice remain in place. Please ensure 2-meter distancing, particularly during observation.
Ministry of Health level specific guidance for vaccination (updated 18 August 2021).
The standard gap between first and second doses has been extended to six weeks.
The CIR (Covid Immunisation Register) has been updated to include a prompt for people receiving their second vaccination with a gap of less than six weeks.
The system will prompt vaccinators to ask if the person is happy to receive their vaccination outside the recommended timeframe (the six-week gap).
If yes, go ahead as usual. If no, the person can reschedule their vaccination at BookMyVaccine.nz or by phoning the COVID Vaccination Healthline (0800 28 29 26).
Two doses of the vaccine is the best protection. Vaccine doses must be at least 21 days apart.
Verbal consent is the usual way of consenting to vaccination. When the COVID-19 vaccination was initially rolled out practices were encouraged to gain written consent. As the programme has rolled out further, and processes have become more refined, the Ministy of Health are now encouraging only verbal consent from patients.
Benefits for practices mean they no longer need to scan consent forms into the practice management system. Practices will still be supplied with consent forms, however these are only required if CIR access is not possible.
Please note the following:
The Ministry of Health is replacing Vernacare 1mL syringes with Unifix 1mL syringes. All consumable kits will contain the Unifix syringes, available from today, Thursday 29 July.
Action at each vaccinating site
The Ministry of Health recognise how vitally important the performance of the needles and syringes supplied to you are. They are focused on the performance of these consumables and ask for practices to please complete this short (2.5min) survey to capture your feedback on these.
Vaccinating practices are encouraged to use the IMAC policy template alongside the original cold chain policy. This is because the original cold chain policy has no mention of COVID-19 vaccine storage requirements.
The Ministry of Health has released 2021 Addendum to national standards for vaccine storage and transportation providers 2017 (second edition). You will note the requirement for an ambient air temperature monitoring.
Practices will need a digital thermometer that records minimum and maximum temperatures and record these temperatures every day (at the same time as the fridge temperatures are recorded). These records need to be kept for at least 10 years.
Medsafe has received data from Pfizer to vary the storage conditions for their COVID-19 vaccine. This data has been assessed and Medsafe has approved the new conditions for use in New Zealand.
This change means that the refrigerated (2°C to 8°C) shelf life of an unopened vial of Comirnaty vaccine is extended from 5 days to 31 days. Once at 2°C to 8°C, the vial cannot be returned to the freezer and must be disposed of after 31 days or on the vial’s expiration date (whichever happens first). The vaccine still needs to be kept at ultra-low temperatures (-90°C to -60°C) in the longer term, for up to six months.
Further information about the approved storage conditions for the Pfizer vaccine can be found in the New Zealand data sheet.
IMAC and CIR training are found on the IMAC website.
The CIR database will not work with Internet Explorer 11 so a modern browser (e.g. Chrome, Edge – version no more than 12 months old) will be required. Check this now with your IT providers to ensure this requirement will not hold you up. Please note, you will not have access to the live CIR database until 24 hours prior to beginning to vaccinate.
Who will be responsible for cold chain in your practice? As part of your practice cold chain accreditation you should have two cold chain nurses and a policy that will also cover COVID-19 vaccination. A cold chain template is currently being developed that covers COVID-19 vaccination.
Your practice will be the site signed off for delivery of vaccine. If you envisage vaccinating outside of your practice ensure you understand the cold chain requirements around delivery and storage of vaccine. Let your PDF know if think you may wish to vaccinate offsite so we can factor this into the planning for your region.
What will your process be? Will you fit this into as BAU or do block afterhours clinics?
The National Booking System Book My Vaccine is available but practices can also choose to use their own booking system. As your weekly volumes increase, there may be more benefits to using the National Booking System.
What will your patient flow be?
How many vaccinations will you do a day?
The process is still being finalised in each DHB area but we expect weekly ordering to be standard. The process will require a designated person who will need to do a stock check each morning – who will that be in your practice?
A checklist of practice considerations such as what is outlined above is available on our website.
Healthpoint has been endorsed as the national directory for all COVID-19 vaccination sites, providing all New Zealanders with access to a ‘single source of truth’ for all vaccination site location details. Healthpoint’s national directory of COVID-19 vaccination sites will be used by the public, 0800 phone-operators and by national campaigns.
Vaccinating practices are asked to please update their Healthpoint listing to reflect they are a vaccinating site. Instructions how to do this can be found here (PDF). If you need assistance please contact Healthpoint on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09 630 0828.
Thank you for your support in developing this national directory.
As COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone aged 12 and over, we want to make sure that the information on where you can get vaccinated and how whānau can book is up-to-date and accurate. We will be promoting the mapping tool heavily in the coming weeks. If you notice that a listing on the Karawhiua mapping tool is missing, out-of-date or inaccurate, here’s some steps you can take to get it fixed.
The planning guidelines (The Blueprint) for DHBs and providers outline how the Pfizer vaccination programme can be applied in existing health care delivery settings.
The blueprint document provides generic guidance to aid planning for vaccine delivery in your community using the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The operating guidelines provide guidance on establishing and managing a COVID-19 vaccination site, including guidelines for the vaccination workforce. The document is designed to help district health boards and providers maintain public safety and ensure consistent and equitable COVID-19 vaccination practices are in place across New Zealand. This guide will be amended as needed, and new versions are released often. The MOH expect regular iterations based on learnings from the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine programme.
IMAC is offering health professionals open and free access to its COVID-19 education courses. All COVID-19 vaccinator and COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) administrator online courses can be accessed via the IMAC learning management system, IMAC Learning.
IMAC webinar schedule
IMAC has been breaking down important COVID-19 vaccination topics into frequent webinar sessions. Spaces are limited so please only register if you are able to make it. Recordings for all webinar topics will be made available so you have the best opportunity to access the information.
Weekly drop-in Q&A sessions - Thursdays 12pm (30min)
Ask IMAC's panel of expert advisors and facilitators questions you may have about COVID-19 vaccinations, vaccines, training and the rollout in New Zealand. Please note these sessions will not be recorded.
Goodfellow webinar recording on COVID-19 vaccines: Presented by Dr Nikki Turner, Director of IMAC.
Immunisation support workforce education
There are number of roles supporting Aotearoa’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts that may vary depending on the delivery model and size of a vaccination centre, enabling the centre to work at full capacity. The Immunisation Advisory Centre provides education for people with non-vaccinating duties in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout such as immunisation conversations in communities, cold chain management and post-vaccination observation and care.
MOH has been running a series of webinars for health sector professionals to share details about the vaccine programme. The sessions are an opportunity to share information, ask questions and provide feedback, and have covered a range of topics, such as workforce, distribution and equity. If you would like to receive an invitation to these webinars, that are run via Microsoft Teams, please email email@example.com.
The web-based national COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) to record COVID-19 vaccinations is operational.
PMS providers indici and Medtech have confirmed the interface with the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR). Notifications for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination should be received to your practice. Medtech practices may need to run the Medtech32 Version 23.0 Build 6783 – COVID vaccination update – please check your Medtech customer portal for details.
The CIR is only for COVID-19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations should continue to be recorded on the National Immunisation Register. As the CIR writes back to PMS, unless you're using your PMS for booking, it's not necessary to use your PMS alongside CIR in most cases.
For system help or log in issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 223 987.
View the COVID-19 vaccine implementation resource page linked below for resources such as an IMAC cold chain policy template; CIR user onboarding journey documentation; MOH vaccination posters, videos and posters; vaccinator workforce information; and more.
Providers using NIBS are reporting a major drop in practice admin time as they are not having to work in two systems. Practices are strongly encouraged to enter your site into NIBS. When the COVID-19 vaccination call centre, Whakarongorau, is promoted, the centre will use NIBS when booking appointments. Using NIBS for bookings will increase your site’s public visibility and make it easier for people to find you. It also streamlines the process at appointment time, both for the provider and the public, making it easier all round.
There is currently a global shortage of longer needles for larger arms. Practices can contact Gerrie Griessel at Waikato DHB if they run short on longer needles. If needed Waikato DHB will organise to supply/ship these.
Download the WDHB updated vaccine delivery schedule (Excel).
If you have any questions or concerns about this please contact Georgia Webster, Waikato DHB.
Please contact Georgia Webster, Waikato DHB.
The Ministry of Health is now requiring each vaccination site to delegate an inventory manager (vaccinator & logistics inventory admin) as listed on this CIR template - Waikato DHB would appreciate if you would provide on this template, the names, email addresses and contact phone numbers of the individuals at your site who you wish to fill this role, noting the name of your site under the heading Inventory Facilities. Waikato DHB appreciate this will be a big effort and are happy to engage on the best way to accomplish it. Ideally it would be one or two individuals who can fill in the form and return to them.
The inventory manager is a staff member working at the vaccination site and will be responsible for on hand inventory accuracy by ensuring orders are raised and receipted in a timely manner, adjustments and wastage are recorded as they happen, and demand forecasts are loaded weekly. Please see the following guides for the full list of activities and how to complete them. This person must also be a vaccinator – your cold chain lead would be ideal.
Overview of the CIR (COVID-19 immunisation register) inventory and logistics portal - training guide (PDF)
CIR inventory portal - detailed training guide (PDF)
Here you'll find training material within CIR, including an inventory and logistics portal training manual: Login | Covid Immunisation Register (force.com). Ensure you have read and understood the material, in particular Section 5 and Section 6 Part B.
Inventory training videos can be found here Login | Covid Immunisation Register (force.com)
Please let Waikato DHB know if you require additional support for these roles.
Further information is in the related resources linked below.
The Ministry of Health advice is under active review - please use their website as the source of correct, up to date information at all times.
Jan Adams, Nursing Director
021 904 460