2 Processes for safe immunisation

2.8 The National Immunisation Register and School-Based Vaccination System

2.8.1 The National Immunisation Register

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a computerised information system that has been collecting immunisation information on New Zealand children since 2005 and from 2014 will collect some adult immunisation information. The purpose of the NIR is to facilitate immunisation delivery and provide an accurate record of an individual’s immunisation history.

The NIR also:

Managing the information on the National Immunisation Register

The information held on the NIR (collection, holding, use and disclosure) is governed by the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 and section 22F of the Health Act 1956 (see section 2.2.3).

The NIR’s privacy policy can be found on the Ministry of Health website ( The policy sets out the framework for data collection, storage, use and disclosure of health information held about identifiable individuals on the NIR.

Individuals or their parents/guardians may choose at any time not to have any health information collected on the register (ie, they can opt off the further collection of immunisation data). However, the NIR will retain the individual’s National Health Index number (NHI), date of birth, DHB they are resident in, date of opt off, and any immunisation information recorded before opt off. The reason for retaining this information is to provide an accurate denominator for immunisation coverage calculations, and to prevent inappropriate recall and referral.

An individual’s immunisation information will be retained on the NIR for their whole life, plus a period of 10 years after their death.

Only authorised users have access to the information held on the NIR. Such a person is authorised to use and disclose NIR information in accordance with their function. Penalties for unauthorised disclosure of information could include the revocation of authorised user privileges, complaints to the Privacy Commissioner, civil proceedings, professional sanctions, and disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Information collected on the NIR includes:

More information about privacy and informed consent can be found in section 2.2 and Appendix 3. Further information about the NIR can be found on the Ministry of Health website (

2.8.2 The School-Based Vaccination SystemTop

The School-Based Vaccination System (SBVS) collects and manages the data for school immunisation programmes (eg, where public health nurses deliver the school year 7 and year 8 immunisation programmes). The information collected on the SBVS for the school immunisation programmes is then transferred to the NIR.

Not all DHBs use the SBVS software for managing their school-based programmes; however, all DHBs are required to record school-based vaccination events on the NIR regardless of whether they use the SBVS, another patient management system (PMS) or direct enter on to the NIR.