Immunisation: health professionals

Introduction

These pages have information for health professionals about immunisation reporting and training courses.

For all other information about immunisation in the Northern Territory (NT), including vaccination schedules and where to get vaccinated, go to immunisation.

For vaccination histories go to the Northern Territory Immunisation Register.

Current NT Immunisation Schedules

Legislation for vaccine providers

In accordance with the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act, all nurses, midwives, Aboriginal and Torres Strait health practitioners (ATSIHPs), and pharmacists  administering vaccines in the NT without the order of a medical practitioner, should ensure that they meet the requirements under the prescribed qualifications to supply or administer or possess vaccinations.

In addition, all vaccine providers should refer to their individual workplace 'Scheduled Substance Treatment Protocol' (SSTP) for the guidelines relating to the administration of vaccines in their workplace. SSTPs are printed in various issues of the NT Government Gazette.

All nurses, midwives, ATSIHPs and pharmacists  must be competent and adhere to the indications, restrictions and contraindications identified for the use of any vaccine included in the SSTP. Any care provided outside the scope of the related documents referred to in the SSTP must be discussed with a medical officer at the time.

For more information please go to the Environmental health medicines and poisons notices website.


About giving vaccines (AGV) course

Registered nurses, midwives and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners (ATSIHP) who never completed (or completed over 3 years ago) immunisation training are required to complete:

NT Upskilling Course

Vaccine providers who have completed a recognised vaccination course or upskilling course in the last three years are required to complete NT AGV Upskilling Course at least every three years via the Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) eLearning Portal.

The following courses are accepted as recognised prior learning.

State/ territoryInstitutionCourse

New South Wales

The Australian College of Nursing

Immunisation for Registered Nurses and Midwives

Northern Territory

Centre for Disease Control

About Giving Vaccines Course

South Australia

Department of Health and Ageing (SA)

Queensland

Australian Catholic University

The Program for Nurse Immunisers

Cunningham Centre

Immunisation Program- Registered Nurse Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996

University of Southern QueenslandANP5004 Immunisation Nursing
Yangulla Centre Rural Health Training Unit

Advanced Nursing Practice: Immunisation Course

Tasmania

University of Tasmania

Immunisation Education for Registered Nurses

Victoria

La Trobe University

Nurse Immuniser Program

University of Melbourne General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre

Immunisation and travel health

More information

Contact the Immunisation nurse team on (08) 89228044 or email ImmunisationProgram.TEHS@nt.gov.au


COVID-19 vaccine

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 Details
26 November 2021 The media updates will now include the messaging below:
  • Approval of second doses of an alternative COVID-19 vaccine brand if the person is unable to access or not accepting the same brand as first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Approval of the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time.
  • The eligible age for the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca®) COVID-19 Vaccine is now 18 years and over.
  • Updates to contraindications in relation to:
    • for people who have received an anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma should defer future doses of COVID-19 vaccine for at least 90 days.
    • other serious adverse events associated with COVID-19 vaccines.
    • people with SARS-CoV-2 infection can be vaccinated as soon as they have recovered from their acute illness or can defer vaccination for up to six months after onset of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
2 November 2021

A booster dose of COVID-19 Vaccine approved for people aged 18 year who meet the eligibility criteria under the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations, including in pregnancy.

25 October 2021

Third primary dose of COVID-19 Vaccine approved for individuals who are severely immunocompromised.

  • Persons 12 years and over with certain conditions or on therapies leading to severe immunocompromised as defined in the Eligibility Conditions at the Australian Government Department of Health website may access a third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in line with ATAGI recommendations.
  • Also refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website for Eligibility Declaration Form and Eligibility Declaration Information for the third primary dose for individuals who are severely immunocompromised.
17 September 2021

Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine (Moderna) is now approved for use in Northern Territory

  • Persons 12 years and over may now receive the Spikevax®COVID-19 Vaccine in accordance with the requirements of the Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Protocol.
  • Persons aged 16 years and over with capacity must consent to receive the vaccine and a record kept by the health practitioner administering the vaccine.
  • Parents of children aged 12-15 years must provide informed consent to the child receiving the vaccine and a record kept by the health practitioner administering the vaccine.
  • Updated information on cardiac indications relevant to the Comirnaty® and Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccines.
17 September 2021

Update to Comirnaty® COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Comirnaty® COVID-19 Vaccine is provisionally registered in people aged 12 years of age and older and is given in a two-dose schedule.
  • mRNA vaccines (i.e., Comirnaty® or Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccines) are the preferred vaccines over Vaxzevria® (formerly AstraZeneca) COVID-19 Vaccine in people aged under 60 years, and in pregnant women.
  • Updated information on cardiac indications relevant to the Comirnaty® and Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccines.
8 September 2021

Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine (Moderna) is now approved for use in Northern Territory

  • Persons 18 years and over may receive the Spikevax®COVID-19 Vaccine in accordance with the requirements of the new Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Protocol.
8 September 2021

New name for Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

  • All CVAPs have been updated to include the new name for Astrazeneca® COVID-19 VACCINE (ChAdOx1-S) solution for injections, which is now known as Vaxzevria® COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) Solution for Injection.
26 August 2021

Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine:

  • Children 12-15 years may receive the Pfizer vaccine in accordance with the requirements of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Protocol.
  • Parents of children aged 12-15 years must provide informed consent to the child receiving the vaccine and a record kept by the health practitioner administering the vaccine.
10 August 2021

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Individuals must meet the eligibility criteria under the National COVID-19 vaccination implementation phases specifically:
    • 60 years of age and older for first and second doses; or
    • 18 years of age and older for a second dose only

Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Change to allow children 12-15 years in priority categories to receive the vaccine. The priority categories for children 12-15 years include:
  • Contraindications updated to include any person who has an episode of Rheumatic fever within the last 3 months or has current active inflammatory markers.
  • Persons aged 16 years and over with capacity must consent to receive the vaccine and a record kept by the health practitioner administering the vaccine.
  • Parents of children aged 12-15 years must provide informed consent to the child receiving the vaccine and a record kept by the health practitioner administering the vaccine.
  • Precaution for persons with inflammatory cardiac illness eg. myocarditis, pericarditis, endocarditis within the last 6 months consultation with medical officer or cardiologist required before giving the vaccine.
23 July 2021

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Inclusion of prior assessment requirements for persons with specific allergies.
  • Change to Drug Interactions to recommend an interval of 7 days between COVID 19 vaccine and other vaccines including influenza.

Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Pregnant women (category B1 - limited experience in humans, animal studies do not indicate harmful effects).
  • Change to contraindications to replace “hypersensivity” to “anaphylaxis” in relation to the active substance or to any of the excipients (including Polyethylene Glycol).
  • Inclusion of prior assessment requirements for persons with specific allergies.
  • Change to Drug Interactions to recommend an interval of 7 days between COVID 19 vaccine and other vaccines including influenza.
15 July 2021

The CVAPs have been updated in response to recent advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Changes include:

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

  • Change in inclusion criteria to people aged 60 years and above
  • Inclusion of pregnancy under contraindications
  • Addition of web-link to health provider resources

Comirnaty vaccine

  • Change in Inclusion criteria to include pregnancy
  • Inclusion of COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy
  • Addition of web-link to health provider resources
17 June 2021

The CVAPS have been updated in response to recent advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Changes include:

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • reduction of interval to 7 days for other vaccines
  • inclusion of 4 clotting disorders as precautions and need for medical consult prior to administration which may be undertaken via telephone
  • no change in pregnancy – needs referral to medical officer.

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • reduction of interval to 7 days for other vaccines
  • inclusion of 4 clotting disorders as contraindications
  • further doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are contraindicated in people who develop thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after their first dose
  • no change in pregnancy – needs referral to medical officer.

For more information please read the joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and the Clinical guidance on use of COVID-19 vaccine in Australia on the Federal Department of Health web site.

31 May 2021

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • Change the cold storage temperature requirements following advice from Therapeutic Goods Administration to allow more flexible storage. For further information, go to the TGA website.
30 April 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • Revision of age covered by the protocol to 30 years and above as People between 18 and 29 years of age as risks due to thrombosis with thrombocytopenia are likely to be higher than benefits from reduction in COVID disease complications.
  • Requirement for explicit informed consent to be documented in clinical record for people aged between the age of 30 and 50 years as this vaccine can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
  • Record any vaccine administration issues in clinical incident management system.

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • Change the age covered by the protocol to 16 years and above
  • Record any vaccine administration issues in clinical incident management system.

As for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should be alert for persistent, unexpected and/or severe adverse events following immunisation in their patients, particularly those that occur 1–2 weeks after vaccination. For more information please read ATAGI reinforce recommendations on use of COVID-19 vaccines following review of vaccine safety data and benefits on the Federal Department of Health web site.

29 March 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine protocols (CVAPs) for COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and COMIRNATY COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer have been updated to reflect the advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations. Out of an abundance of caution they are recommending that vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should be deferred for people who have a history of the following rare conditions:

  • People with a confirmed medical history of CVST, and/or
  • people with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT is an immune-mediated complication of treatment with heparin that affects platelet function. A HIT-like mechanism is being investigated as a potential, but unconfirmed, pathway to CVST post COVID-19 vaccination.

This is until further information from ongoing investigations in Europe is available and is only a precautionary measure.

As for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should be alert for persistent, unexpected and/or severe adverse events following immunisation in their patients, particularly those that occur 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination.

Astrazeneca (Vaxzevria®) (ChAdOx1-S) Solution for Injection COVID-19 Vaccine

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 Vaxzevria® Vaccine Administration Protocol (CVAP) PDF (689.4 KB) (CVAP) must be followed when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and AstraZeneca administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

Pfizer (Comirnaty®) BNT162b2 [mRNA]) COVID-19 Vaccine

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 Comirnaty® Vaccine Administration Protocol (CVAP) PDF (718.9 KB) must be followed when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and Comirnaty administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

Moderna (Spikevax®) Elasomeran [mRNA-1273] COVID-19 Vaccine

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 Spikevax® Vaccination Administration Protocol (CVAP) PDF (717.8 KB) must be followed when administering the Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and Spikevax® administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the Spikevax® COVID-19 Vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.


Immunisation register: vaccine providers

The Northern Territory Immunisation Register (NTIR) is based at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and contains details of vaccines administered to adults and children in the Northern Territory since 1991.

The NTIR transmits vaccine information to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and to the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Program Register.

For general information about the register go to Northern Territory immunisation register.

Vaccine providers

Vaccine providers including remote and urban community care centres and clinics, hospitals, and GP surgeries are encouraged to send information about all vaccines that they have administered however not all providers participate and not all vaccines are recorded on the NTIR. 

Routine recording of influenza vaccine administered to adults was included on the NTIR from 2009.

Online access for healthcare providers

NT immunisation records can be accessed from a secure internet site by approved vaccine providers. 

Read the guidelines for access to the NT Immunisation Records Internet Site.

Apply to access the site: NT Immunisation Internet Registration Form.

Instructions on how to use the NTIR website: How to Access the NT Immunisation Register.


Recording and reports on immunisations

Please use this form when ordering any seasonal influenza vaccine and all National Immunisation Program vaccines.

Vaccination recording form

Vaccine providers who do not currently send vaccination records to the NT Immunisation Register electronically please complete this form for people of any age who have received a vaccination.

Fax the form to the NT Immunisation Register on 8922 8897 OR Email: ImmunisationUnit.THS@nt.gov.au

Adverse event following immunisation form

Adverse events following immunisation refer to any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunisation, whether it is expected or unexpected and regardless of whether it is triggered by the vaccine or coincidentally occurs following its administration.

AEFIs can be reported by any health professional, vaccine provider, patient or their families.

Please refer to the current Australian Immunisation Handbook for specific definitions and advice on adverse events following immunisation.

Call your local Centre for Disease Control for any further advice.

BCG incident and side effects reporting form

This form should be used to report both incidents relating to administration as well as BCG side effects. An Adverse Event Following Immunisation form (AEFI) should also be completed. Fax both forms to the Centre for Disease Control Darwin on (08) 8922 8310.

Cold chain graph

Keep all vaccines between 2-8°C. Strive for 5°C.

Check and record the vaccine refrigerator temperature (minimum and maximum) twice daily; before the refrigerator is used for the first time and at the end of each day.

Wastage report

Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has changed the biannual usage/wastage reports. Vaccine usage will no longer be collected and wastage will be reported throughout the year rather than biannually.

Please complete the attached form to record all vaccine wastage from your clinic at the time the vaccine is discarded. Vaccine providers are only required to complete this form when wastage occurs. Vaccine providers should still continue to report any cold chain breaches prior to discarding vaccines by calling CDC.

Fax all forms back to Centre for Disease Control Darwin on (08) 8922 8310.

Lyssavirus post-exposure prophylaxis recording form

Please contact Centre for Disease Control if you have a patient with a potential exposure to lyssavirus or rabies.

Post-exposure vaccination can be provided by Centre for Disease Control during regular working hours and NT public hospital Emergency departments after hours.