Midwifery & COVID-19
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by Māori doctors and health experts
New COVID-19 Vaccinator role created
Tuatahi, ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori, ki a koutou.
Changes to the Medicines Regulations 1984 have been made to help build the COVID-19 vaccination workforce. Specifically, the new regulation 44AB has created a new role – COVID-19 Vaccinator. This will enable a larger, more diverse pool of potential COVID-19 Vaccinators, helping us to build trust and confidence in the vaccination rollout programme.
I’d like to thank those of you who participated in the consultation process on these changes in May. Your whakaaro and kōrero helped us refine what this new role will look like in practice. Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi; your contribution will help our communities to thrive.
Two key changes since the initial proposal are:
Title: The working title changed from Vaccinator Assistant to COVID-19 Vaccinator as feedback suggested it did not appropriately describe the role, which is to only administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
Supervision: The wording ‘under the supervision of’ was amended to ‘under the supervision and direction of’. This aligns with wording in ACC regulations and was thought to provide assurances that in the event of any potential incidents arising from treatment, in the model proposed, health consumers would be covered under ACC treatment injury provisions.
About the COVID-19 vaccinator role
Under the supervision and direction of an experienced, registered health professional, the newly enabled COVID-19 Vaccinators will administer the vaccine to triaged people with low risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. They will observe people post-vaccination and will support administration as required within vaccination teams.
They will not work independently, take formal informed consent from consumers, vaccinate high risk health consumers or lead any adverse event interventions.
What does this mean for employers?
This role enables more people to join the thousands of existing people in the pipeline who can be trained to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. It will help increase the numbers of Māori and Pacific people in the pipeline, where there has been long-term under-representation.
The training and assessment will require Covid-19 Vaccinators to achieve the same standard as authorised and provisional vaccinators for the tasks they will be trained to perform. People must be assessed as competent by an experienced vaccinator, and authorised by the Director of Public Health, before they can be deployed.
Nō reira, I encourage you to reach out to people in your networks who have worked in a healthcare setting, such as kaiāwhina. You’ll need to consider the sites they’ll be best suited to. It’s important that the right supervision settings are in place, that new kaimahi are covered under your (or their own) indemnity insurance and that assessment and monitoring is done well.
The letter Information for Employers provides further background and considerations.
A number of resources have been created to support employers in taking on this new role. This includes flyers for both the COVID-19 Vaccinator and Vaccination Clinical Supervisor roles, a summary of the training and authorisation pathway and job specifications for inclusion in job descriptions, which I’ve attached.
The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation programme run fortnightly webinars for primary and community care (Thursday mornings, 11am-12noon). These webinars provide updates and highlight areas of work within the programme. If you would like to receive an invitation to these webinars, run via Microsoft Teams, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAC will also run webinars for potential Vaccination Clinical Supervisors. When dates and times are confirmed, these will be communicated.
The recently improved Hands Up to join our vaccination teams database (formerly the surge database), is also a helpful tool for DHBs on behalf of themselves or their commissioned providers, to directly search for suitable people from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds willing to support their vaccination events.
Hands Up registrations can now to be completed in te reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan. People can let us know what languages they speak and whether they have experience working with people with disabilities. This will help you prioritise applicants who reflect your communities.
We suggest you regularly check the webpage COVID-19: Vaccine information for health professionals for current operating guidelines, Immunisation handbook and links to IMAC training information.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to providing a safe and effective vaccine and immunisation programme.
Nāku iti nei,
Group Manager Equity l COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme
Ministry of Health l Mob: 021 936864 l email@example.com
Updated advice for the Maternity sector and pregnant women at Alert Level 1
The information for Maternity and pregnant women at Alert Level 1 has been updated on the Ministry's website. You will notice the advice for community midwives now reflects the new risk assessment questions. Please note the table numbers that accompany the advice to community midwives have changed to align with the table numbers on the updated PPE advice in maternity settings. Please let me know if you require any clarification.
Māori health professional supervision during COVID-19
Kia ora koutou,
He Paiaka Totara is a collective of Māori psychologists.
As a collective we are keen to offer support within the current COVID-19 environment. We are now able to provide peer supervision undertaken by Māori psychologists, for Māori health professionals (or health professional students) who are working in front-line services and belong to registered affiliated bodies.
The key purpose of this supervision is:
To assist the supervisee to manage stress, maintain personal wellbeing, and continue to provide an ethical/professional standard of practice while providing essential COVID19 clinical services
To provide a space for the supervisee to reflect on their personal wellbeing, the wellbeing of their team, and the wellbeing of their Māori clients/patients during the period of lockdown for COVID19
This peer supervision does not replace the need for existing/ongoing professional practice supervision
This service will be at no charge to those who access this supervision service, and is intended to be in place while Aotearoa is in Alert 3 or 4 status. A standard supervision contract will be put in place prior to supervision, and health professionals (or students) can opt in for individual or group supervision sessions.
For Māori health managers, we are also able to offer supervision.
For those who are part of this project, online resources will also be made available to further support well-being and professional development.
Please feel free to distribute this information to your collectives, If members of your rōpu are interested in this He Paiaka Totara Māori Health peer professional supervision, they can directly email Lisa Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
He Paiaka Tōtara Covid-19 Supervision Response Team
Professor Suzanne Pitama
University of Otago, Christchurch
Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki
Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Mahanga
Senior Research Fellow, MPRU
University of Waikato
Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Research Fellow, MIHI
University of Otago, Christchurch
Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāpuhi, Tūwharetoa
Director, Māramatanga Consultants Ltd
RANZCOG/ABA/NZBA infographic: breastfeeding women and COVID-19 vaccination
Advice for breastfeeding mothers about the current COVID-19 vaccine and whether it is safe for themselves and their babies has been unveiled.
The advice, in the form of an infographic, was today launched by ABA, NZBA and RANZCOG. For the full press release go to our website: