Registration and qualifications
Registration for service providers
Queensland Health works with registered vaccine service providers to protect the community against vaccine preventable infectious diseases. Service providers facilitate the administration of vaccines by qualified immunisation professionals in a range of settings, including community health clinics, child health centres, selected local councils, schools and aged care facilities.
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.
To administer vaccines in Queensland you must be a qualified health professional, such as a medical practitioner, pharmacist, midwife, or nurse with the appropriate qualifications.
All registered nurses may administer a vaccination to a person on the prescription of an authorised prescriber, providing the nurse is practicing within their established scope of practice.
Authorisation to initiate the administration of a vaccine
Under the provisions of the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021, only appropriately authorised registered nurses are able to administer and give a treatment dose of scheduled medicines as listed in the Extended Practice Authority ‘Registered Nurses' (PDF 245 kB) (EPA-RN).
Part B (rural and isolated practice areas), Part C (sexual and reproductive health services) and Part D (immunisation program services) of the EPA-RN authorise certain registered nurses to initiate the administration of a vaccine, as listed in the EPA-RN, without a prescription.
All registered nurses who are authorised under the EPA-RN must ensure they have access to their current Health Management Protocol in addition to the Australian Immunisation Handbook and guidelines established by their employer, as well as the Immunisation Schedule Queensland and the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’.
EPA-RN Part D immunisation program services requirements
The EPA-RN, Part D requires a registered nurse to have successfully completed an immunisation course (approved course) as detailed below, prior to administering vaccines (listed in Appendix 4) for an immunisation program service (refer to EPA-RN, Part D, section 5.2).
Approved courses for registered nurses (Immunisation program nurses) working in immunisation program services include:
- Immunisation courses accredited by Health Education Services Australia (HESA).
Please note that if undertaking an immunisation program course which has an associated clinical placement, and the placement is to be completed within a Queensland Health facility, the education provider is required to have a Student Placement Deed in place with Queensland Health, and an associated schedule with the placement provider.
Prior to the introduction of the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021, a registered nurse working in an immunisation program service was required to complete any of the following:
- an approved program of study for endorsement as an Immunisation Program Nurse with the former Queensland Nursing Council; or
- a qualification in immunisation previously approved by the chief executive under the (repealed) Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996. These courses comprised:
- Australian College of Nursing - Immunisation for Health Practitioners Course Code 306 ONLY (undertaken between 29 June 2018 and 31 October 2020)
- Australian Catholic University - The Program for Nurse Immunisers
- Cunningham Centre - Immunisation Program - Registered Nurse Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 course
- University of Southern Queensland
- Benchmarque Group
Immunisation program service
Prior to administering vaccines, registered nurses must ensure the immunisation program service is recognised under the EPA-RN (refer to Part D, section 5.2). Immunisation services that do not meet the EPA-RN, Part D requirements, must obtain a substance authority (general approval - immunisation program) under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019.
Further information on the substance authority (general approval) requirements under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 for an immunisation program service is detailed Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 Factsheet: Immunisation programs – registered nurses (PDF 219 kB)
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 which 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 Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
All midwives may administer a vaccination to a person on the prescription of an authorised prescriber, including endorsed midwives, medical practitioners, and nurse practitioners, providing the midwife is working within their established scope of practice.
The Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021, Extended Practice Authority 'Midwives' (PDF 245 kB) (EPA-Midwives) provides the authority for midwives to initiate and administer specific vaccines without a prescription, subject to certain limitations. Only midwives who have completed an appropriately authorised immunisation program course are able to administer specified scheduled medicines as identified in the EPA-Midwives.
All midwives must ensure they have access to the Immunisation Schedule Queensland , The Australian Immunisation Handbook and the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ to meet the requirements for the EPA-Midwives.
Beginning in 2023, Queensland community pharmacies will have access to National Immunisation Program (NIP) funded influenza vaccines. This is in addition to the current vaccination services offered by Queensland community pharmacies such as COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines available on the private market.
The Queensland Extended Practice Authority for Pharmacists (PDF, 159KB), under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019, outlines the scope and conditions of vaccination activities for pharmacists.
Please note that the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program is not an approved Immunisation Program Nurse course and successful completion does not qualify the participant as an authorised immunisation provider.
Further information about this training program is available at COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program.
Tuberculosis Control Units
Prior to performing a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) or administering a bacillin Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination for Tuberculosis (TB), registered nurses must demonstrate that they have completed the specified training. Contact Tuberculosis (TB) Control Units for more information.
Yellow Fever information
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 (DOCX 351 kB). These forms should then be sent to the practice’s local Public Health Unit for assessment. The name of the practice, address and telephone number will be included in the list of Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres. If required complete the Change of details (practice or practitioner) (DOC 167 kB).
Please read information for New Individual Training Requirements for Yellow Fever Vaccination Providers (PDF 384 kB) from the Australian Government Department of Health. 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.