Approved Immunisation Education Programs

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 413KB).

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

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

What courses are approved?

To find out which courses are approved for registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health practitioners (ATSIHPs), see Approved Immunisation Education Program in South Australia (PDF 249KB).

Any immunisation educational program that has been approved, including those from other State or Territory Health Departments for authorisation of registered health practitioners, is recognised as an approved education program by SA Health.

What courses are approved to undertake a COVID-19 Vaccination Program?

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.

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.

Any practitioner administering a COVID-19 vaccine MUST have completed a COVID-19 vaccination education program.

A registered nurse/midwife/ATSIHP who is not authorised under the Code can only administer vaccines under a medical order. SMOs provide an organisation delivering immunisation programs the mechanism to enable nurses, midwives and ATSIHPs to administer vaccines (Schedule 4 drugs) without an individually prescribed medication order by a medical officer.

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:
  • Other specified immunisation programs, including:
    • occupational health programs, as listed in the online Australian Immunisation Handbook
    • Seasonal Influenza Program
    • Pharmacy Vaccination Service (including Pharmacy Influenza Vaccination Program)
    • COVID-19 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 and 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.