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

This week the Ministry of Health announced it has commissioned the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC), to develop a new training and assurance programme to create a skilled pool of supervised Vaccinator Assistants who will work within a vaccination team in Covid-19 vaccination centres.

IMAC is working with NZQA and Careerforce to design a training programme for these staff to enable them to undertake the role of administering prepared vaccines to consumers who have been assessed by healthcare professionals as suitable for vaccination. They will be supported by and working with qualified vaccinators.

This new vaccinator assistant education is being piloted in May and will be available in June.

The Ministry of Health is progressing regulation changes to operationalise this role, to work alongside Authorised Vaccinators. It expects that the DHBs will be able to recruit from this new workforce in June.

Ministry of Health Director Sector Engagement, Workforce and Welfare Fiona Michel says: “We expect this opportunity will enable a greater diversity of people in our vaccination workforce, with particular focus on increasing the number of Māori and Pacific people in our vaccination teams. Under the proposed regulation changes, only those who have successfully completed training and have been authorised by IMAC will be eligible to provide vaccinations.”

A pilot of the training was held yesterday for staff at Turuki Healthcare in Auckland, attended by a group of predominantly healthcare support workers. COVID-19 Clinical Education Manager Jane Morphet said: “What an enthusiastic group of students, so keen to be part of delivering vaccines to their whanau. It was a pleasure to work with them, helping them to develop the skills they will need to work in this new role within the wider COVID-19 vaccine delivery team.”