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Registration and qualifications

Queensland Health works with registered vaccine service providers to protect the community against preventable infectious diseases. Service providers administer vaccines in a range of settings including community health clinics, child health centres, councils, schools and aged care facilities.

Qualified immunisation professionals are employed by a range of vaccine service providers to conduct immunisations.

Vaccine service providers

If you are a suitably qualified service and would like to discuss registering as a service provider to access vaccines as part of the National Immunisation Program, please contact the Queensland Health Immunisation Program.

Yellow fever vaccines

Requirements for yellow fever vaccination centres

A medical practice can apply to become an approved yellow fever vaccination centre by downloading and completing the Application Form (DOCX 174 kB) and the acceptance of Conditions Applying to an Approved Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre Form (PDF 384 kB). These forms should then be sent to the practice’s local Public Health Unit for assessment.

Applications can only be considered if one or more medical practitioner or nurse practitioner (whose scope of practice includes immunisation) has successfully completed the online yellow fever vaccination course. A certificate of completion for each individual practitioner at that practice who will administer the yellow fever vaccine will be required with the application form.

If the practice is approved, Queensland Health will send a confirmation letter and an official stamp with a unique accreditation number.

Requirements for individual medical practitioners and nurse practitioners

From Monday 26 November 2018 a practitioner seeking to prescribe the yellow fever vaccine will need to successfully complete the online Yellow Fever Vaccination Course and obtain a completion certificate. The certificate is to be provided to the Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre where they intend to practise. A practitioner is accredited for a maximum of three years from completion of the course.

For further information please read Information for Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres and Providers (DOCX 351 kB)from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Associated forms

Forms should be sent to the practice’s local Public Health Unit

For further information about the new training requirements please see Information for yellow fever vaccination centres and providers. (PDF 384 kB)

Qualified immunisation professionals

Under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (PDF, 2.43MB), only certain medical professionals are able to administer vaccines. The required qualifications for nurses are outlined below.

Immunisation program nurses

By law, an immunisation program nurse (IPN) is authorised to administer a vaccine or other restricted drug under a Drug Therapy Protocol as part of a Queensland Health immunisation program, local government immunisation program or immunisation program approved by Queensland Health.

If an IPN wishes to be employed in an immunisation program under the auspices of the Drug Therapy Protocol, the employer must have a current Health Management Protocol developed in accordance with the current edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Immunisation Handbook, and adopted by an interdisciplinary health team. The Health Management Protocol must be endorsed and dated by Queensland Health, and applies for a maximum of two years.

For more information on Health Management Protocols, please contact your local public health unit.

Registered nurses

To be qualified as an IPN a registered nurse must:

  • have previously qualified for endorsement as an IPN with the former Queensland Nursing Council and retain evidence of this endorsement,
    or
  • complete an IPN course approved by the chief executive of the Department of Health and retain evidence of proof of completion.

Employers should require the registered nurse to produce proof of authorisation/qualification as an IPN in Queensland, prior to allowing the nurse to practice as an IPN.

Registered nurses qualified in another Australian state should apply for Recognition of Prior Learning to one of the approved course providers.

Registered nurses who have not completed an IPN course as described above can only give a vaccination to a person on the instruction of a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, unless they are an authorised IPN and working under a Drug Therapy Protocol.

Enrolled nurses

Qualified enrolled nurses can administer vaccinations, but only on a doctor’s oral or written instruction and under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse. Nurses graduating from approved courses from 2008 onwards have completed relevant medicine administration units as part of their curriculum. This qualifies them to administer vaccines.

Graduates who have not completed the relevant medicine administration units have a notation on their registration, published on the register of practitioners. The notation states: ‘Does not hold Board-approved qualification in administration of medicines’. Enrolled nurses with this notation are not qualified to administer vaccines.

More information on medicine administration by enrolled nurses is available through the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Last updated: 26 November 2019