Our role is to support Marlborough Practices to improve health outcomes of their population by supporting immunisation and therefore reducing the impact of vaccine preventable diseases.
We provide assistance to General Practice staff with immunisation queries, referrals to the outreach service and updates on the immunisation coverage of the childhood populations of each Practice.


What is Immunisation

Immunisation is one of the best ways to protect your child against many serious diseases. It works by using a vaccine to stimulate your child’s immune system.

When a germ like a virus or bacteria enters the body for the first time, the immune system takes time to produce special antibodies to fight that particular germ. During that time, a person may becomes unwell.

As the protective cells and antibodies are made, they destroy the germs and the person recovers. The immune system remembers the germ, for years or for life. The next time we come across the same germ, the body will be able to remember the infection and mount a much faster response and fight off the germ before the person become unwell.

Immunisation works in a similar way. A vaccine contains a dead or weakened form of the germ that cannot cause the disease, but is enough to make the immune system produce antibodies to fight it. When a person is vaccinated their immune system makes protective cells and antibodies in response to the vaccine. This allows the immune system to recognise the germ, which will protect them from the real disease if they come into contact with it in the future.

You can find out more about immunisation at the University of Auckland Immunisation Advisory Centre website

Why Do We Need Immunisation

Babies are born with some natural immunity to certain infections because antibodies are passed on to them from their mother before birth. Breast-fed babies get additional antibodies from their mother’s milk. However, this immunity does not last long. Babies and children need immunisation to provide ongoing protection from many life-threatening diseases.

Over 14 million people around the world die every year from diseases that can be prevented by immunisation. Most of these diseases have become rare in New Zealand thanks to immunisation programmes. Some diseases, such as whooping cough and pneumococcal disease are still common.

Many of the diseases that are now rare in New Zealand still exist in other countries and are brought into the county by travelers from time to time, for example, measles. Some diseases will always be present, such as tetanus, which is caused by bacteria that lives in the soil.

For more information on the vaccine preventable diseases go to:

Is Immunisation Safe

Yes. Immunisation is one of the most researched areas of medicine and the most valuable health care measure that has ever been developed. Over the years immunisation has controlled and stopped many of the diseases that cause illness or death in children. To develop good immune protection against a range of serious diseases it is important to have vaccinations on time and to complete the series – including boosters.

All vaccines approved for use in New Zealand have a good safety record and have ongoing safety monitoring. For more information on vaccine safety go to

The World Health Organisation and the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommend that you immunise your children. Immunisation is your choice – please talk to your family doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Delaying or Declining Childhood Immunisations

The decision to delay or decline immunisation is an important decision, one that needs to be considered carefully. Without immunisation your child is at greater risk of catching one of the vaccine-preventable diseases. Children today can and do become seriously ill and die from these diseases, even healthy children. Unimmunised children can become infected and spread the diseases to others, especially babies who are too young to be immunised and people who are unable to be immunised because of medical reasons.

General Practice refers to the ‘IMMUNISATION TIMELINES for the first year of life’ for Childhood Vaccines for the National Immunisation Schedule. This is also the Outreach Immunisation Service Referral Pathway.

Immunisation Timelines For First Year Of Life
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Immunisation Advisory Centre resources for Family Delaying or Declining Immunisations click here

When Should Immunisations Be Given

The National Immunisation Schedule is the timetable of recommended vaccines. It is designed to provide the best protection for our children when they are most at risk. Starting at 6 weeks of age, children can be protected from the potentially dangerous diseases that they may encounter. This allows your baby to start developing protection as soon as possible, when the natural immunity from their mother begins to wear off. Babies and children can catch diseases at any time so it is important babies and children are immunised on time, every time for the best possible protection.

The Immunisation Schedule recommends childhood immunisation at the following ages: 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months, 15 months, 4 years, 11 years and 12 years.

Some children will need extra vaccines, such as the influenza immunisation, if they have certain long-term health conditions. Talk to your family doctor or nurse to find out if you or your child needs extra immunisations.

If you think your child – or anyone in your family – may not have had all the immunisations or if you’re not sure, talk to your family doctor or nurse. They will be able to tell you which immunisations you and your family should have.

For more information on the National Immunisation Schedule go to:

Adult and Pregnancy Immunisations

The National Immunisation Schedule recommends:

  • An Influenza vaccine and a Whooping Cough vaccine in every pregnancy (FREE of charge)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for all males and females aged 9 years to under 27 years (FREE of charge – Non-residents must be aged under 18 years to receive free vaccines)
  • A tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis Tdap (boostrix) vaccine at 45 years and 65 years of age.
  • The 45 years Tdap is only required for adults who have not previously received four documented doses of Td vaccine.
  • The Influenza vaccine annually for all adults from 65 years of age (FREE of charge)
  • From 1 April 2018, one dose of Shingles vaccine (Zostavax) is funded for adults aged 65 years. A ‘catch-up’ programme will be available for the first two years, for people aged from 66–80 years inclusively, ending on 31 December 2020. Funded vaccine doses will only be available through general practice.

    (Zostavax is also available for individuals aged 50–64 years or 81 years or older to purchase through general practice and some pharmacies)

Some adults and children will need extra vaccines if they have certain long-term health conditions. Talk to your family doctor or nurse to find out if you need extra immunisations.

If you think you or your child – or anyone in your family – may not have had all the immunisations or if you’re not sure, talk to your family doctor or nurse. They will be able to tell you which immunisations you and your family should have.

For more information on the schedule go to:

Influenza Immunisation

Influenza vaccine is especially important, and FREE, for people at risk of serious complications from influenza including:

  • Pregnant Women (at any stage of pregnancy)
  • Adults aged 65 years and over
  • Children aged 6 months to under 5 years who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
  • Anyone aged 6 months to under 65 years with a number of medical conditions. For a full list of eligible medical conditions go to:

Almost everyone however can benefit from the protection of annual Influenza immunisation and can be obtained at a small charge from your General Practice, or from a number of local community Pharmacies.

Access to Vaccines

All children aged under 18 years living in New Zealand, regardless of the resident status of the child or their parents, are entitled to FREE National Immunisation Schedule vaccines.

All National Immunisation Schedule vaccines and additional vaccines are available from your General Practice – charges may apply for some vaccines – please check with you Doctor or Practice Nurse.

General Practice Nurses and Pharmacist Vaccinators undertake post graduate training in vaccination and update every two years. They are available to answer any queries parents may have.

You can also contact the local Immunisation Facilitator Sally Gilmour on 520-6200 or 021 284 7207.

For further information on vaccinations phone the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) on 0800 466 863 or visit or

Provisional Vaccinator Training Course (PVTC):

An Influenza, MMR and Pandemic Vaccinator Training Course has been developed for the administration of influenza, MMR and any potential COVID-19 vaccine. To access this FREE course, please email for registration instructions (we will reply to you within 2 to 3 working days).  Click here.

This course is designed for Health Professionals who hold an annual practising certificate, or appropriate health science students registered with a professional body.  In the first instance preference on this programme will be given to Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) nurses, Māori and Pacific health providers, school registered nurses, enrolled nurses and pharmacists not already vaccinating.

Note for Pharmacists: The provisional vaccinator course might seem like an attractive option but this course will only give a limited scope and for a limited time. If a pharmacist wants to give the full scope of pharmacy vaccines, they will have to complete a full vaccinator training course and process.

On completion of the provisional vaccinator course all participants will demonstrate clinical competency through a peer review by a current authorised vaccinator or experienced pharmacist vaccinator (vaccinating a minimum of two people). Vaccinators who have undertaken a peer assessment will be given a two-year provisional authorisation for MMR and Influenza. A further online learning module will need to be completed for the Provisional Vaccinators to undertake COVID-19 vaccinations.

If participants want to continue to vaccinate after the two-year period, they will need to complete a vaccinator bridging programme (there will be a cost for this) and complete all the requirements to be an authorised or pharmacist vaccinator including a full clinical assessment. This bridging course option will only be available for completion until the end of 2023.


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Application forms for Vaccinator Authorisation:

New AV Application September 2022

Please ensure authorised vaccinator renewals are submitted at least one month prior to expiry of your current authorisation.  The failure to do so, will require a clinical assessment with your Local Immunisation Coordinator when authorisation has expired.

New applicants need to allow sufficient time for new vaccinator authorisations to be processed if expecting to begin vaccinating by a particular timeframe.

Application NEW AV 2022 (002)
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Renew AV Application September 2022

Application RENEW AV 2022
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Approval for Local Vaccination Application

Application+LOCAL VACC PROG Oct 2020
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Vaccination Application FAQs

Vaccinator Application FAQS
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National Immunisation Register

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a computerized information system developed to hold immunisation details of New Zealand children.

Why Do We Need A NIR?

Children visit many different health care professionals such as General Practitioners, Plunket nurses, hospital specialists, Maori or Pacific providers. The NIR enables authorised health professionals to quickly and easily find out what vaccines a child has been given and is the best way to make sure immunisations are given at the appropriate time.
The NIR will enable New Zealand to improve its immunisation rates, which at present lag behind other OECD countries.

What Information Is Held On The NIR?

The NIR holds: personal information such as name, date of birth, gender, unique health number (National Health Index) and ethnicity details of a child; parent/caregiver details and contact information; nominated health professionals (general practitioner, midwife and Wellchild provider) and immunisations given. It can also record if a parent chooses not to immunise their child for a particular vaccine, or if there are medical reasons not to do so. This information is collected and updated regularly by authorised healthcare providers.

Immunisation Outreach Service

An Immunisation Outreach Service is available to all children in Marlborough. This service helps improve immunisation coverage in the community by following up referrals from General Practice for children who have missed vaccinations, and works with these children and their families to help access vaccination.

The Outreach Nurse works in the community visiting families at home, liaising with their General Practice and with other community based health professionals. The Nurse can be contacted to answer questions and concerns regarding immunisation and to provide support if needed to help them make decisions about their children’s vaccinations and if necessary support when visiting their family doctor for vaccination appointments. Contact 0800 672 642.

For more information on Wairau Outreach Immunisation Services visit Health Pathways (pathways changes coming soon)

Changes to the National Immunisation Schedule from 2020

The National Immunisation Schedule (NIS) is regularly reviewed to ensure it provides the best protection for the New Zealand community against vaccine preventable diseases. The review takes both the national and international situations into consideration.

Changes to the NIS will take effect on 1 July 2020 and on 1 October 2020.

Schedule changes 1 July 2020 Reducing the number of PCV10 primary course doses From 1 July 2020, PCV10 (Synflorix®) is moving to a 2+1 schedule. This means PCV10 (Synflorix) is not required at the 3-month immunisation event. A two-dose primary course will be given at ages 6 weeks and 5 months. The booster dose remains unchanged.

Schedule changes 1 October 2020 A 12-month event will be added to the Schedule, making two events in the second year of life. Further information on this will follow later. Note: currently the 15-month immunisation event is still offered at 12 months of age in the Auckland area. The 15-month vaccines can be given from 12 months of age, on parental request in other parts of the country.

Why Immunise

Protect your whānau – immunise against measles!

E te iwi, measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can make you very sick. 

Getting immunised is the best way to protect you, your whānau and community from catching and spreading measles. It’s easy and it’s free!

Be a Guardian of the Future. Immunise against measles.
Find out more at

Awhikiritia tō tinana! Protect yourself and your whānau from Measles. 

Areare mai ngā taringa e hoa mā! Listen up!
Measles is an extremely infectious disease and it doesn’t take much to start an outbreak – BUT there is something we can all do to reduce the risk and keep our whānau safe!

Awhikiritia tō tinana! Get immunised!
It’s easy, just head to your local GP or participating pharmacies and get immunised for free.

Be a Guardian of the Future. Immunise against measles.
Find out more at


Immunisation During Pregnancy

Be on Time, Immunise  on Time, Every Time

Immunise your child with confidence

HPV Immunisation – Now free for boys and young men

Chickenpox – Disease and Vaccine Information


Immunisation Coordinator:
Angie Mills (RN)