Vaccine Administration Code

The Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulation 2011, sub regulation 18(3) provides authorisation for a registered health practitioner determined by the Minister, to administer vaccine without a medical order. The authorisation is conditional to the administration being in accordance with the Vaccine Administration Code (PDF 313KB).

To meet the requirements of the legislation a vaccine must be administered by:

  • a class of health practitioner approved by the Minister, and
  • the health practitioner must have successfully completed an approved immunisation education program, and
  • the vaccine is administered by a health practitioner working for an organisation that is approved by the Minister, and
  • the vaccine is administered as part of a specified immunisation program.

Approved health practitioners

The Code applies to registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners (ATSIHP) who have successfully completed an Approved immunisation education program.

Approved immunisation education programs

A list of approved immunisation education programs for registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and ATSIHP are published on the Approved Immunisation Education Programs web page.

Approved organisations for delivering specified immunisation programs

A list of recognised health facilities which are organisations that are approved for the purposes of the Code are published on the Approved Organisations for Delivering Specified Immunisation Programs web page.

Specified immunisation programs

Specified immunisation programs are defined as:

  • the National Immunisation Program, including the current South Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) and Annual Influenza Program schedules,
  • State funded immunisation programs:
    • Meningococcal B Immunisation Program, 
    • High Risk Hepatitis B Immunisation Program
  • Other specified immunisation programs, including:
    • occupational health programs, as listed in the online Australian Immunisation Handbook,
    • Seasonal Influenza Program, or
    • Pharmacy Vaccination Service (including Pharmacy Influenza Vaccination Program)
    • COVID-19 Vaccination Program (including COVID-19 Vaccination in Community Pharmacy (CVCP) Program)
    • Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) Vaccination Program.

Vaccine administration for the specified immunisation programs must be in accordance with the current recommendations as published in the online Australian Immunisation Handbook. 

Vaccines cannot be administered for the purposes of travel or the management of a tetanus prone wound.

Vaccines cannot be administered under the Code if they are not administered as part of a specified program.

Under the JEV Vaccination Program, IMOJEV®; JESPECT®; and IXIARO® can be provided under the VAC until 31 March 2023. For further information please contact the Immunisation Section.

Further information

For further information on the Vaccine Administration Code, including the authorisation process, contact SA Health's Immunisation Section on 1300 232 272.