You want to become a...

Fully authorised vaccinators and pharmacist vaccinators

Nurses and some pharmacists apply for authorisation from a medical officer of health.
Authorised vaccinators can administer vaccines as outlined in their authorisation documentation.

You're a...

New vaccinator
Provisionally authorised vaccinator

You will do the...

Then do a...

Clinical assessment with an approved assessor

After that...

Nurses and some pharmacists will apply for authorisation from a medical officer of health.

Pharmacist vaccinators advise Pharmaceutical Society and can give a range of reclassified vaccines.

Authorised vaccinators can administer vaccines as outlined in their authorisation documentation.

Want to become a fully authorised vaccinator?

You need to be a Registered or Enrolled Nurse or Pharmacist (including interns) with a current annual practicing certificate.

Please select one of the following options:

You're a...

New vaccinator
Provisionally authorised vaccinator
Help store and prepare vaccines, ready for administration

You're..

a pharmacy technician.

You'll do the:

COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine storage and preparation course

After that you can manage the storage and preparation of vaccines.

Fully authorised vaccinator

Authorised vaccinators are health professionals who are part of an approved immunisation programme who can legally administer vaccines to all ages without a prescription or standing order. Fully authorised vaccinators are authorised under regulation 44A(2) of the Medicines Regulations 1984 by the Director-General of Health or a Medical Officer of Health.  This regulation stipulates that the person seeking approval must apply in writing to the Director-General or a Medical Officer of Health and provide the documentary evidence outlined in Appendix 4, A4.1.1 of the Immunisation Handbook. 


How to become a fully authorised vaccinator 

The following health professionals are eligible to become fully authorised vaccinators. There may be some variation across the different public health units so please check with your region. 

  1. Registered and enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners 
  2. Paramedics 
  3. Registered pharmacists (view Pharmacist/Intern Pharmacist Vaccinator)


General practitioners, nurse practitioners and midwives have prescribing rights in their scope of practice. Therefore, they can administer vaccines permitted within their scope without becoming a fully authorised vaccinator. 

Healthcare practitioners with prescribing rights in their scope of practice may choose to complete the vaccinator foundation education from a professional development perspective.

IMAC is commissioned by Te Whatu Ora to provide vaccinator training in Aotearoa. There are two education pathways to become a fully authorised vaccinator. 

New vaccinators

New vaccinators must complete one of the following IMAC Vaccinator Foundation Education Courses. Both are the same but are delivered differently:

  • Vaccinator Foundation Course (VFC). Delivered over 2-days in a classroom style, followed by an online assessment.
  • Flexible Learning Vaccinator Foundation Course (FLVFC). Self-paced online learning followed by an online assessment and a 4-hour classroom tutorial.

Provisionally authorised vaccinators

Provisionally authorised vaccinators (who are nurses or pharmacists) can complete the vaccinator bridging course and relevant clinical assessments to upskill and achieve full scope of practice as fully authorised vaccinators. 

IMAC continues to work with Te Whatu Ora to develop a pathway for allied health care professionals who wish to work as authorised vaccinators.

Maintaining your authorisation 

Authorisation of fully authorised vaccinators is valid for two years from the date of the authorisation approval letter from the Medical Officer of Health. To maintain status as an authorised vaccinator, authorisation must be renewed every two years. 

To renew vaccinator status, the vaccinator must complete the vaccinator update course within two years of their foundation course and apply to the local Medical Officer of Health.  Other requirements to support application are detailed in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, A4.1.3

Between two and five years since authorisation

If it has been less than five years since the vaccinator completed an approved vaccinator course the vaccinator must complete the vaccinator update course and complete an additional clinical assessment (each assessment includes two supervised vaccination events).

Authorisation expires fully after five years

If it has been more than five years since the vaccinator completed an approved vaccinator course, then the vaccinator must complete another vaccinator foundation course.

Other requirements to support application are detailed in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, A4.1.4.

COVID-19 vaccinator requirements for a fully authorised vaccinator

Click here to view COVID-19 education page
Click here to view our vaccinator foundation courses

Provisionally authorised vaccinator / Provisionally authorised pharmacist vaccinator

Provisionally authorised vaccinators and provisionally authorised pharmacist vaccinators, like fully authorised vaccinators/pharmacist vaccinators, are authorised under regulation 44A(2). Other requirements to support authority can be found in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, A4.2.1.

Provisionally authorised vaccinators and provisionally authorised pharmacist vaccinators are only authorised to administer influenza, MMR and COVID-19 vaccines (these are the only vaccines covered by the provisional vaccination course and the COVID-19 vaccine education course that these vaccinators complete). See Table A4.3 of the Immunisation Handbook. 

How to become a provisionally authorised vaccinator/provisionally authorised pharmacist vaccinator

The education pathway and authorisation to become a provisional vaccinator/provisional pharmacist vaccinator closed on 30 September 2022. 

If you have not completed the provisional vaccinator training and you want to become a vaccinator, there are other options available for you. 

Existing vaccinator pathway
Option from 1 October 2022
Provisional Vaccinator
Fully Authorised Vaccinator
Provisional Pharmacist Vaccinator
Pharmacist Vaccinator or Fully Authorised Vaccinator
Student – medical, nursing and pharmacy
Vaccinating Health Worker
Allied Health Worker – optometrist, dietitian, physiotherapist etc.
Vaccinating Health Worker

How to maintain and renew your authorisation 

All authorised vaccinators are required to attend an update course every two years. 

If you have completed the provisional vaccinator foundation course in 2020 and it is nearly two years since the completion date, you are required to complete a provisional vaccinator update course. On completion of the course, your authorisation will be extended to 30 June 2023. 

How to register for IMAC vaccinator education courses 

To access the IMAC provisional vaccinator update course, email your request to Te Whatu Ora vaccinator authorisations team to get a package code vaccinatorauthorisations@health.govt.nz

The provisional vaccinator update course is available on IMAC’s online learning management system. You then need to use the package code to access the course. 

Provisionally authorised vaccinators (who are nurses or pharmacists) can complete the vaccinator bridging course (VBC) and relevant clinical assessments to upskill and achieve full scope of practice as a fully authorised vaccinator or pharmacist vaccinator.

Provisionally authorised vaccinators (who are nurses or pharmacists) can also complete a vaccinator foundation course (VFC) or flexi learning vaccinator foundation course (FLVFC) which will enable you to become a fully authorised vaccinator or a pharmacist vaccinator. 

Click here for COVID-19 vaccinator requirements

Pharmacist/Intern pharmacist vaccinator 

Visit the pharmacist page

A number of vaccines have been reclassified by the Medicines Classification Committee from prescription medicines to prescription medicine except when administered by pharmacists or registered intern pharmacists who have successfully completed the vaccinator foundation course (or any equivalent training course approved by the Ministry of Health but excluding vaccinators who have completed the provisional vaccinator course) and who comply with the immunisation standards of the Ministry of Health.

Due to these classifications, pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinators are not required to apply to a medical officer of health for authorised vaccinator status to be able to administer vaccines that have been reclassified. However, the expectation is they notify Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) when they have completed the requirements specified above, including the course completion date (see Completion of authorisation).

The classification of the vaccines is the reason for the differences of what a pharmacist vaccinator compared with an intern pharmacist can administer, see Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, Table A4.2.

How to become a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator 

IMAC is commissioned by Te Whatu Ora to provide vaccinator training in Aotearoa. There are currently two education pathways to become a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator.

  1. New pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator

New vaccinators must complete one of the following IMAC Vaccinator Foundation Education Courses. Both are the same but are delivered differently.

  1. I am currently a provisionally authorised pharmacist/provisional intern pharmacist vaccinator 

The education pathway and authorisation to become a provisional pharmacist vaccinator/provisional intern pharmacist vaccinator closed on 30 September 2022.

Provisionally authorised vaccinators (who are pharmacists/intern pharmacists) can complete the vaccinator bridging course (VBC) to upskill and achieve full scope of practice as a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator and deliver the scope of vaccines available.

Maintaining authorisation 

Authorisation of a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator is valid for two years from the date of the VFC or VBC. To maintain status and continue to administer vaccinations as a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator, authorisation must be renewed two yearly. 

To renew vaccinator status, you must complete the pharmacist vaccinator update course and send notification through to the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ). 

Other requirements to support application are detailed in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, table A4.1.3

Between two and five years since authorisation

If it has been less than five years since the vaccinator completed an authorised vaccinator course the vaccinator must complete the pharmacist vaccinator update course and complete an additional clinical assessment (each assessment includes two supervised vaccination events).

Authorisation expires fully after five years

If it has been more than five years since the vaccinator completed an authorised vaccinator course then the vaccinator must complete another vaccinator foundation course.

Other requirements to support application are detailed in the Immunisation Handbook Appendix 4, table A4.1.4.

Click here to view our pharmacist courses


COVID-19 vaccinator requirements for a pharmacist/intern pharmacist vaccinator

Click here to view COVID-19 education page

Clinical supervisors for vaccinating health workers 

Optional course for clinical supervisors to the vaccinating health worker workforce 

With the introduction of the new unregulated vaccinator workforces (COVID-19 Vaccinators Working Under Supervision and Vaccinating Health Workers), fully authorised and provisionally authorised vaccinators may be clinical supervisors at the vaccination site. 

It is recommended those undertaking or preparing for the clinical supervisor role to complete the vaccinating health worker clinical supervisor course.

Click here to view the VHW Clinical Supervisor course

Midwives 

Visit the midwives page

Registered midwives practising in New Zealand hold a valid annual practising certificate and have prescribing rights in their scope of practice. This means midwives can administer vaccines permitted within their scope.  

For best-practice and professional development, it is recommended that midwives complete the Midwife Immunisation Course.

Last updated:
Oct 2022