National Immunisation Update - 22 December 2022

National Immunisation Update - 22 December 2022

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to our  final NIP update for 2022.  It’s been an incredible year, and we want to thank you for all your support and mahi this year.  We look forward to connecting with you again in the New Year.

Please share the information below with your contacts and networks as relevant – thank you so much. 

In this update we cover:

  • Aotearoa Immunisation Register vaccinator portal is live, and see our top three FAQs below
  • Vaccine update
  • Recent Pharmac announcements
  • The Shivers Project – invitation to attend a showcase
  • Welcome to summer!
  • Office shut down period

Aotearoa Immunisation Register vaccinator portal is live, and see our top three FAQs below

The Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR) will replace the current National Immunisation Register (NIR) and supersede the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR).  

The AIR vaccinator portal is now live, and we have commenced signing up pharmacy users. The AIR will replace Immunise Now from January 2023. More information on AIR is found here.  Pharmacy facility managers can commence their sign up by contacting  

Our top three FAQ’s asked during sign up are:

Q: How do I request to be a facility manager or a user at multiple sites? 

A: Once you complete your sign up for one site and can access the AIR, you will be able to request access to additional sites using the vaccinator portal. The AIR admin team will authorise requests for additional facility manager access. Approvals for access for all other roles are authorised by the facility manager for the site being requested.   

Q: I am signing up to the AIR as a facility manager but I also need the role of vaccinator – how do I get both?  

A: You will only ever need one login to the AIR. Once you complete your sign up as a facility manager role and can access the AIR then you can request access to other roles at a site using the vaccinator portal. As the facility manager you will approve this access. For example, when you sign up as a facility manager, then once you get your access to the AIR, you can assign yourself a vaccinator role as well.  

Q:I have signed up as a vaccinator, but I also need to be a facility manager – what do I do? 
A: You will need to contact the help desk to ask to have the facility manager role added to your profile. 

 Vaccine update

Meningococcal ACWY vaccine supply update

Due to a supply issue with Menactra vaccine, a replacement vaccine MenQuadfi will be available to order through ProPharma from this week.

  • There is no change to eligibility criteria for funded Meningococcal ACWY vaccine:

-        adolescents and young adults aged 13–25 years inclusive who will be living or are currently living in a boarding school hostel or university hall of residence, military barracks or prison.

-        high risk groups (as per schedule)

  • MenQuadfi is also available for private purchase through HCL, for those who are not eligible for funded doses.
  • Menactra stock is expected to be available again from mid-January.

Change from PCV10 to PCV13 (pneumococcal vaccine)

All providers should now be administering PCV13 as scheduled in place of PCV10. Please return unused PCV10 stock to ProPharma for destruction. Ideally these packs can be placed inside the returnable ProPharma boxes that are used to deliver vaccine orders to your site.


The risk of a measles outbreak remains high, please continue to offer MMR vaccinations at every opportunity.

MMR vaccines are administered at age 12 months and 15 months and to any children who have not received two doses. Please also prioritise the catch-up cohort, those born from 1989 to 2004, who do not have two documented doses.

Recent Pharmac announcements

Widened access to Meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero)

From 1 March 2023 Meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero) will be funded as part of the childhood immunisation programme to protect against meningococcal disease in children up to 12 months of age.  It will also be funded for people aged 13 to 25 years who are entering into or in their first year of specified close-living situations. The National Immunisation Programme is working with Pharmac, IMAC and other key partners to prepare for this change.  Further operational guidance and detail will be provided early in the new year. 

Planning is underway for a catch-up programme which will also be funded for:

  • children under 5 years of age, up until 31 August 2025
  • people aged 13 to 25 years who are already living in close-living situations such as boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks, or prisons, to 28 February 2024.

Please keep a look out for more information.

Ongoing supply of Shingrix

Pharmac have confirmed that Shingrix will continue to be the funded zoster vaccine for people who are 65 years age for the prevention of shingles. There will be no changes to the current eligibility criteria for Shingrix at this time

For more information about these two changes please visit Pharmac’s website.

The Shivers Project – invitation to attend a showcase

Attached is an invitation to attend a showcase of the latest update on all the SHIVERS projects which are looking at research into influenza and respiratory illness.   

Please feel free to pass it on.

Welcome to summer!

Top tips to have a Safe-as Summer:

  1. If you feel unwell, take a RAT test. If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate for 7 days.
  2. Make sure you have enough RATs to test your whanau, order tests online here:
  3. If you do test positive, get antiviral medication if you’re eligible. Find out if you’re eligible here: or speak to your GP or pharmacist. Find the nearest pharmacy that provides antivirals here:  
  4. Mask up in healthcare services, residential care, and some disability settings. We also strongly encourage you to wear a mask when visiting high-risk folk, or in closed, crowded and confined spaces, especially on public transport.
  5. COVID spreads more easily indoors. Reduce your risk by spending time outdoors, especially when in groups or when eating. Learn how to get good airflow in indoor spaces here:
  6. Call 0800 358 54 53 for free COVID health advice anytime, or visit the COVID Health Hub: 

Office shut down period

Our office will be shut down for Christmas with our last day here on Friday 23 December. We will reopen again on Monday 9 January.  

Meri Kirihimete me te Hape Nū Ia e te whānau. 

Ngā mihi nui,


Sandy Thambiah

Senior Adviser, Engagement

National Immunisation Programme

waea pūkoro: +64 21 248 1288| īmēra:

133 Molesworth Street, Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Follow us on LinkedIn | FacebookInstagram