MoH: Expanding our vaccinating workforce: changes to the Medicine Regulations 1984
Dear primary healthcare colleagues
At the start of this year, we consulted with the sector about the COVID-19 Vaccinators Working Under Supervision (CVWUS) programme. I’m pleased to be able to update you on our response to this feedback, and how we are planning to build on the CVWUS in the coming months.
The CVWUS programme was created in response to the urgent need to vaccinate Aotearoa against COVID-19. As well as helping us achieve this goal by dramatically expanding our vaccinating workforce, we also received some great feedback about the way CVWUS had helped ensure our workforce reflected Aotearoa’s diversity.
Based on this feedback, we have created the Vaccinating Health Worker (VHW) programme, which, in its initial phase, will allow existing CVWUS vaccinators to deliver other vaccines to a broader range of age groups. Changes to the Medicines Regulations 1984 have now come into force (19 May), which provides for more flexibility in the authorisation of vaccinators and enables the VHW programme to be implemented.
One of the successes of CVWUS was the way it allowed experienced healthcare workers such as kaiāwhina, overseas registered health workers, and pharmacy technicians to deliver COVID-19 vaccines under clinical supervision. The new CVWUS role has seen more Māori and Pasifika vaccinators get involved in helping vaccinates Aotearoa. We’re excited about being able to offer a pathway to these workers to further serve their communities.
The first step will be offering training to people who are already working as CVWUS to expand their skills and administer more vaccines and bridge to VHW. Then we will establish a pathway for people who are not already CVWUS vaccinators to train and be prepared to work as authorised VHWs.
Training programmes and resources are currently being developed, including those for Clinical Supervisors of VHW. From June, current authorised CVWUS vaccinators will be able to be trained and authorised as a VHW.
We are planning to hold a series of Stakeholder Hui to discuss the Vaccinating Health Worker programme as it develops. These will be held as webinars and the first two will be held on Tuesday 31 May, 12pm-1pm and Tuesday 14 June 12pm-1pm. You can join the events by clicking the links.
As the programme develops, you will be able to find more information about the VHW role on our website. If you have specific questions about the CVWUS programme, please email email@example.com.
Ngā mihi nui,
Sent on behalf of:
National Immunisation Programme
Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health