Vaccine Administration Code
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Section 18(1d)(a)(iii) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (the Act) authorises a registered health practitioner to administer a prescription drug
In South Australia section 18(1d)(a)(iii) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (the Act) provides authorisation for health professionals to administer specified vaccines (PDF 137KB) without a medical order if the administration is in accordance with the Vaccine Administration Code (the Code).
In order for health professionals to immunise in accordance with the Code the health professional must have completed an approved immunisation education program and work for an approved organisation.
Any immunisation education program that has been approved by another State or Territory Health Department for authorisation of registered health practitioners, is recognised as an approved education program by SA Health for registered nurse immunisers.
To find out which immunisation education programs are approved for registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health practitioners (ATSIHPs), see: Approved Immunisation Education Programs in South Australia (PDF 249KB).
To vaccinate independently of a medical practitioner and meet the requirements of the Code, registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and ATSIHPs must have completed an approved immunisation training program AND an approved COVID-19 vaccination education program to be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines as an approved program.
Any practitioner administering a COVID-19 vaccine MUST have completed a COVID-19 vaccination education program.
If the health practitioner is not working under the authority of the Vaccine Administration Code (the Code), they must work under a vaccine Standing Medication Order (SMO) to be able to administer a Schedule 4 drug.
For information on immunisation courses offered by SA Health see Immunisation provider training and education.
Authorised registered health practitioners must only administer the vaccines specified in the Code and as part of a program delivered by an approved organisation. Local Health Networks that are part of SA Health, SA Ambulance Service, councils and council subsidiaries are recognised as approved health facilities and do not need to seek approval. Other organisations can apply to be approved by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. For more information and an application form see approved organisations for delivering immunisation programs.
Approved organisations must also register as a vaccination provider with the Australian Immunisation Register.
For further information on immunisation training programs and approved organisations, contact SA Health's Immunisation Section or phone 1300 232 272.