Department of Health

Nurse immunisers

In Victoria, Nurse immunisers are Registered Nurses (not Enrolled Nurses) who are approved to administer specified vaccines and can manage adverse reactions where there may not be a medical practitioner present. They can provide this service to approved client groups in circumstances such as nurse-led immunisation services in:

  • local councils
  • general practice
  • hospitals
  • community health
  • occupational health services.

Nurse immunisers are approved under regulation 8(1) and regulation 161 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017.

The Secretary Approval applies to a Registered Nurse who has completed a program of study. The nurse must meet the Secretary Approval criteria to practice.

The Secretary Approval does not apply to Registered Nurses who have not completed a program of study, but who may administer vaccines supplied under an individual prescription, or under the direction (for example, drug order) and supervision of a medical practitioner.

The Secretary Approval for nurse immunisers (in force) was published in the Government Gazette S518 3 October 2022 pp 1-3.

Japanese encephalitis vaccination

On 19 May 2022, in response to the recent emergence of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in Victoria, the Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser was amended to include administration of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval. 

A condition of the Secretary Approval for administration of the JE vaccine by nurse immunisers is completion of the Japanese encephalitis - eLearning module for immunisation providers in Victoria, which has been recognised by the Deputy Chief Health Officer - Communicable Disease. 

The module is free and available at the Victorian Immunisation Learning Hub.

Monkeypox vaccination

On 3 October 2022, in response to the recent emergence of monkeypox (MPX) in Victoria, the Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser was amended to include administration of the MPX vaccine in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval.

A condition of the Secretary Approval for administration of the MPX vaccine by nurse immunisers is completion of the Monkeypox eLearning module for immunisation providers in Victoria, which has been recognised by the Deputy Chief Health Officer - Communicable Disease. The module is free and available at the Victorian Immunisation Learning Hub.

COVID-19 vaccination

A time-limited approval, Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE, authorises a Nurse Immuniser to possess and administer any SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval until 19 October 2023 (inclusive), unless revoked earlier.

The Secretary Approval was published in the Government Gazette S 576 19 October 2022 pp. 1-3 (Nurse Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE) or accessible via the Medicines and Poisons – Secretary Approvals webpage. This approval is in force from 20 October 2022.

  • Further information is available in the Victorian COVID-19 vaccination guidelines. These guidelines provide a primary point of information and resources for Victorian COVID-19 vaccination providers based on information and minimum site requirements set out by the Commonwealth. Compliance with these guidelines is a condition of the Public Health Emergency Orders and Secretary's Approvals that authorise the necessary Victorian workforce (which includes nurse immunisers) to deliver the vaccine. The guidelines also state the required training and supervision ratios for the Victorian emergency authorised immunisation workforce, which includes nurse immunisers.

Reviewed 25 October 2022

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Immunisation Unit Department of Health

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