Cartoon image of a man showing his arm where he received a vaccination

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Overview

The Vaccinating Health Worker: Stage 1 - Comirnaty (ages 12+ yrs) & influenza vaccines course is designed for individuals who wish to become an authorised Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) Stage 1. Completing this course and the relevant training will allow you to administer Comirnaty and influenza vaccines to people aged 12 years and above. Prior to starting this course, you would have completed the VHW Stage 1 Core course.  

On completion of the online element of this course, you must also attend the following training, which is organised by your employer.

  1. CPR course (Basic Life Support)  
  2. IMAC VHW Stage 1 practical workshop – to practice injection technique and other important skills
  3. Covid Immunisation Register (CIR) training.

It is strongly recommended that you have completed the CPR course before attending the IMAC practical workshop. You will also be required to complete the CIR training which is compulsory training that needs to be completed in conjunction with this course. It is also recommended that you complete the Entering influenza vaccination into the CIR course.

Authorised VHW Stage 1 - Comirnaty (ages 12+ yrs) & influenza will be able to:

  • Check consumer details
  • Follow the agreed prompt card questions, calling for support when any issues are identified
  • Check consent has been obtained
  • Administer vaccines completed in online training: Flu and Comirnaty vaccines to consumers aged 12 years and over
  • Observe consumers while waiting after the vaccination
  • Provide post vaccination advice
  • Always work under supervision of a registered health professional.

Practical Session Dates Available

Once you have completed your vaccine specific course your employer can contact your local IMAC facilitator to book you in for a practical session for Stage 1.

For current available dates please CLICK HERE

Prerequisites

You will already be working or interested in working in the health sector – for example, as a pharmacy technician, kaiāwhina, community health worker or healthcare assistant. Alternatively, you may have been trained as a health professional in New Zealand or overseas but you do not currently hold a NZ practising certificate.

Completing this course is one step in becoming an authorised VHW. Following completion of both this online learning and the Vaccinating Health Worker: Stage 1 - Core course, please have your employer contact IMAC to organise a practical session. If you wish to become authorised to administer HPV9 or Tdap, please also complete this training: Vaccinating Health Worker: Stage 1 - HPV9 & Tdap.

Next steps: Employer makes application

To progress to your practical session your employer will need to apply to IMAC on your behalf.

Employers must contact one of their local IMAC education team (see contacts below) to obtain a registration form. The completed registration form is then submitted to IMAC. Your local facilitator will contact you to arrange a face to face session.

Please find contacts for more information at the bottom of the page.

VHW Stage 1 training pathway

A high-level illustration of the training pathway is shown below. The first two phases are IMAC-led. The last three phases are employer-led.

In addition to the IMAC VHW training, the VHWs must also complete other core training outlined in the VHW Capability Matrix. The employer is responsible for providing access to courses and support for course completion.

Training pathway for new entrants

There are three VHW Stage 1 online courses. Completion of the first introduction core course is compulsory before starting the vaccine-specific courses. Each course has a multi choice-style assessment and the pass mark is 80%.

It is not compulsory to complete both vaccine-specific courses unless:

  • The VHW will be administering other vaccines not covered in their first vaccine-specific course and/or
  • The VHW intends to apply for VHW Stage 2 training.

Training pathway for currently authorised CVWUS and/or authorised VHW Stage 1 – Influenza Vaccine

The table below outlines the training requirements for those transitioning into the VHW Stage 1 pathway.

This applies to people who hold a current CVWUS authorisation and want to be authorised for other VHW Stage 1 vaccines and/or wanting to progress onto VHW Stage 2 training.

The IMAC practical assessment can be done via zoom or in-person for people who are authorised CVWUS or authorised VHW to administer influenza vaccines.

Training phase requirements

Phases 1 and 2: Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) Online Courses

As the employer is responsible for ensuring the VHW completes training phases 3, 4 and 5, it is essential the VHW is registered on the relevant vaccine-specific course i.e. the vaccines they will be administering at the workplace.

IMAC practical workshop (3-3.5 hours)

On successfully completing the online courses, the VHW will then attend a practical workshop. On successful completion of the workshop, a workbook is issued to guide learning at the workplace. The workbook also includes a series of knowledge checks, activities, and observation tasks.

Phases 3 and 4

Practical assessment in the workplace and authorisation application to Te Whatu Ora

This is the formal assessment of VHW knowledge and skills. The assessment is performed under a Standing Order by an authorised vaccinator with at least 2-years’ experience.

Upon completing all of the training requirements for VHW Stage 1, an application is then submitted to Te Whatu Ora. If the application is accepted, Te Whatu Ora will then issue a vaccine-specific authorisation letter. The authorisation is valid for 2 years.

If the authorised VHW stage 1 wishes to extend their authorisation to other Stage 1 vaccines, they will need to complete requirements in Phase 5 (see below) and then apply for to Te Whatu Ora to extend their authorisation via the Authorisation Portal.

Phase 5

Competency assessment in the workplace to extend authorisation scope.

This is only required if the authorised VHW Stage 1 is required to administer other VHW Stage 1 vaccines that were not administered during their practical assessment. Competency assessments are completed with the workplace clinical supervisor.

Details of this are included in the VHW Stage 1 Workbook, which is provided after successful completion of the IMAC practical workshop.

IMAC course content

This course will provide theory on:

  1. COVID-19 and influenza diseases
  2. COVID-19 and influenza vaccine eligibility and administration

Assessment

At the end of the theory lesson, you will complete a multiple choice assessment.

  • There are 10 questions, and you must get 8 correct to pass.
  • If you don't pass the first time, you can try two more times.
  • If you don't pass after the third try, please email us using this link. 

Feedback

After completing the assessment we'd really appreciate it if you can give us some feedback. This helps us improve the course for others.

The course provides 2 hours of continuing professional development. On completion, you can print out a certificate as evidence of learning.

Employer responsibilities

1. Provide the training indicated as employer-led in the VHW Capability Matrix such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Health Information Privacy Code and working with people with disabilities.

2. Organise other employment requirements such as police vetting, requirements under the Vulnerable Children’s Act, occupational health screening and indemnity insurance.

Applying for VHW Authorisation

To apply, please send your application to the Te Whatu Ora Vaccinator Authorisation Portal. If you have any questions about your authorisation application or how to use the portal, please email vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz. More information on authorisations can be found here.

Te Whatu Ora will assess applications and issue the authorisation letter. The authorised VHW Stage 1 can then administer approved vaccines under the direction and supervision of a registered healthcare professional without a Standing Order.

Authorisation is valid for 2 years from the issue date.

For more information

Te Whatu Ora VHW Capability Matrix (version 2, 12 August 2022)

Te Whatu Ora VHW Information Sheets for Employers, Clinical Supervisors and VHWs.

Manatū Hauora VHW information on their website

For questions on the authorisation process, please email vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz.

Practical Session Dates Available

Once you have completed your vaccine specific course your employer can contact your local IMAC facilitator to book you in for a practical session for Stage 1.

For current available dates please CLICK HERE

Contacts for registration and training support  

For general course registration questions, please email: imaceducation@auckland.ac.nz.

For other training and onboarding support questions, please email the local IMAC clinical staff.


Northern Region

Sandra Prinsloo, Immunisation Education Facilitator
sandra.prinsloo@auckland.ac.nz


Midlands Region

Chantel Punter, Immunisation Education Facilitator
chantel.punter@auckland.ac.nz


Central Region

Janine Emrys, Immunisation Education Facilitator
janine.emrys@auckland.ac.nz


Southern Region

Karen Cague, Immunisation Education Facilitator
karen.cague@auckland.ac.nz