Recording influenza vaccinations on the National Immunisation Register

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a national database, held by the Ministry of Health (the Ministry). The NIR records National Immunisation Schedule vaccinations given to children and some Schedule vaccines given to adults, such as influenza vaccinations. The Ministry and District Health Boards use the NIR to help monitor vaccination coverage, including vaccination of pregnant women, assess protection against diseases such as influenza, and plan future population health programmes.

The following points are useful for informing your patients about the NIR

  • The NIR provides an accurate record of a person’s vaccination history, to help with their ongoing heath care even if they change doctors, and to help the Ministry measure vaccination coverage across the whole population
  • The NIR records a person’s NHI number, name, gender, address, date of birth and vaccination information
  • Only authorised professionals will see, use or change the information
  • Information that does not identify individuals may be used for research or planning

The NIR leaflet (HE2423) informs adults about the NIR. Leaflet pads can be ordered from www.healthed.govt.nz.

Influenza coverage reports by District Health Board (DHB), Primary Health Organisation (PHO), ethnicity and deprivation are available for providers, including general practice, with access to the Business Objects NIR Datamart.

Recording adult influenza vaccination, including pregnant women, on the NIR

General Practice

The NIR and Practice Management Systems (PMS) record all influenza vaccinations given in general practice for all age groups and for pregnant women. To record an adult’s influenza vaccination information on the NIR select the opton button on your PMS.

To help avoid errors in recording influenza on the NIR:

  • Ensure you have the most up-to-date PMS software version
  • Send a list of all the vaccinators and general practitioners (GPs) who will deliver the influenza vaccine in your practice to your local DHB NIR administrator before the beginning of the influenza season to ensure they are entered into the system
  • Vaccinators should validate the vacinee’s address in all address fields before they are messaged to the NIR
  • The provider should be noted as the “GP” and the nurse or “GP” who administers the vaccine as the “vaccinator”
  • For adults wanting to opt off the recording of their influenza vaccination on the NIR please leave the opt-on/off fields blank. The vaccination information will only be recorded on your PMS and will not be sent to the NIR

Note: the NIR programme does not schedule influenza vaccinations and identify overdue influenza vaccinations in the Overdue Tasks report as it does for the childhood vaccinations.

Pharmacy

Pharmacist vaccinators use the NIR web application called ImmuniseNow to record all vaccinations on the NIR.

A new section called GP Practice has been added to the ImmuniseNow web application. The updated application went live on Tuesday 27 March 2018. After the vaccinating pharmacist has added the vaccination information to the GP Practice section on ImmuniseNow, the NIR will send a notification to the patient's general practice/clinic/medical centre to advise them that their patient has received an influenza vaccination. Automation of the notification process means vaccinating pharmacists no longer have to manually fax or post the information to the patient's GP.

Other influenza vaccination settings

The Ministry is working towards expanding access to ImmuniseNow in the future for other influenza vaccination settings such as DHB clinics or workplaces.

Occupational health providers are also expected to notify an individual’s general practice when they have administered an influenza vaccine so their records can be updated.

For questions about:

  • The NIR, please contact your DHB NIR administrator or contact the Ministry of Health Support team 0800 505 125 and select option 3
  • ImmuniseNow, contact the Ministry of Health Support Team (details above)
  • Your general practice or pharmacy PMS, please contact your vendor directly